Stephanie Campisi

Picture book and middle grade author

Stephanie Campisi is an Australian-born, Washington-based children’s book author. Her work spans zany middle grade novels, funny picture books and the odd poem. Current and forthcoming titles include The Ugly Dumpling, Luis and Tabitha, The Five Sisters and Very Lulu.

The Ugly Dumpling

illustrated by Shahar Kober 
Mighty Media Press, April 2016

Ugly Dumpling cover Campisi Kober
"A bright, multicultural twist on a classic tale. ... Specifically told without gendered pronouns, this is simply a story about love. Kober’s illustrations are characterised by delicious changes in perspective, and Campisi’s sly, humorous asides ensure that the message of identity is not heavy-handed ... Quirky retellings often lean on clever titles alone, but this surpasses and delights."—Kirkus ReviewsStarred Review

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For rights enquiries, please contact Nancy Tuminelly.

Once upon a time
perhaps last week
or even last night
at your local dim sum restaurant
there was an ugly dumpling...

A multicultural picture book about friendship and self-acceptance.


"The Ugly Duckling gets a makeover in this wacky tale about a misfit. ... the ultimate end, about accepting people because of their differences, adds an extra moral to this timeless tale. The bright illustrations are detailed and full of energy—never has food been so expressive!—and the concept is just odd enough to succeed."—Booklist

"A unique take on the classic tale 'The Ugly Duckling,' this is a humorous story of friendship and self-acceptance, set in a dim sum restaurant. ... This narrative moves quickly, and the cheerful visuals do as much to tell the story as the text does. An amusing and fun addition for most collections."—School Library Journal

Ugly Dumpling pleated pants.JPG