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The Ugly Place

by (author) Laura Deal

illustrated by Emma Pedersen

Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Feb 2023
Emotions & Feelings, Polar Regions, General, Imagination & Play
Indigenous characters , Set in Nunavut , Author lives in Nunavut
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

Library Ordering Options


From the author of In the Sky at Nighttime.

A child makes their way along the Arctic shoreline on a dark day. Everything around them seems as ugly as their mood, from the weather to the fish and mud. This is the place they come to whenever they feel ugly.

But as the child closes their eyes and listens, the sound of the waves reminds them to breathe. The tiny krill flick their tails, and the brightly coloured sea stars seem to glow. What they once saw as an ugly landscape is now wonderful and vibrant, and alive with music and beauty.

Building on concepts of social-emotional awareness, this book helps young readers see that they have the ability to control their own emotions.

About the authors

Laura Deal was born and raised in a small farming town in Nova Scotia. As a young adult, drawn to adventure, she climbed aboard an airplane for the first time ever and moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Laura immediately found appreciation for the culture, beauty of the land, and simplicity of northern life. Since 2005, she has rooted herself in the Canadian Arctic and started a family. A firsttime author, Laura wrote How Nivi Got Her Names for her daughter, Niviaq, who was adopted through Inuit custom adoption.

Laura Deal's profile page

Emma Pedersen is an illustrator and concept artist with a love for visual storytelling and character design. With BFAs from the Ontario College of Art and Design in drawing and painting, and from Sheridan College in illustration, Emma specializes in children’s illustration. Her first picture book is Queenie Quail Can’t Keep Up (2019). Emma lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her partner and a beloved, and smelly, little dog.


Emma Pedersen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A gentle tribute to the power of nature to help regulate difficult feelings."—Kirkus

"The Ugly Place is a relatable and reassuring read that serves as a timely reminder that nature is healing and the tide will always turn."—Hakai Magazine

"Children and adults alike can learn from The Ugly Place. Teachers and caregivers can keep this story on hand to read when any little ones need to be brought out of a funk, to remind them that the ugly moment will pass, and to remind them that engaging with the outdoors is a positive way to find the beauty and opportunities in life."—CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"It's a place for insight and reflection, thoughtfulness and solitude, all of which reverberate in Laura Deal's text."—CanLit for Little Canadians

"The Ugly Place is a charming, thoughtful story with layers that will reward rereading. Blending an often overlooked setting with an important topic, this is a book that will make any shelf quite a bit more beautiful."—Quill & Quire