Books | The Ugly Five

The Ugly Five is the latest creation from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Can you even remember the days before the Gruffalo and all of her other wonderful books? And of course Axel Scheffler’s colourful illustrations. Let’s take a closer look..

“We’re the ugly five, we’re the ugly five.
Everyone flees when they see us arrive.”

Who’s that singing on the savannah? It’s the top-five ugly animals in Africa! The wildebeest, warthog, vulture, hyena and marabou stork swagger proudly across the savannah, rejoicing in their ugliness – and delighting their babies, who think they’re perfect just the way they are. Inspired by the real-life Ugly Five safari animals, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s brand-new picture book is a jubilant celebration of animals who are often rather unloved. The funny, heart-warming rhyme is a joy to read aloud, while bold, comical illustrations bring the savannah spectacularly to life.

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The Ugly Five is a perfectly rhymed (of course), new story matched with lovely colourful illustrations. We were a little dubious about the story, when we first picked it up. But we needn’t have been, of course Donaldson makes it lovely – it’s not a belittling book about ugly creatures. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

It’s a great story to help introduce the concept of looking deeper than appearances – or don’t judge a person / creature just by looking at it. I don’t want to give too much away.

I also love the pages at the back that show you the creatures you would find on a safari, which will give you a lovely learning opportunity with your children. We’d recommend this book for children aged 2-6. We love how quickly children learn the words of Julia Donaldson’s book, I often find my little ones end up reciting them. I’d definitely picking this book up next time you’re at the bookshop. : )

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