My Thoughts

The Ugly Five arrived at a house full of high expectations from my own children who will, forever more, be know as “the ugly five”. The Julia Donaldson Axel Scheffler partnership has given our family hours of pleasure with my own favourites Stick Man, Zog, Tiddler, The Snail & The Whale and the wonderful Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book. There are many many more and this new book, The Ugly Five will have been eagerly anticipated by families and book worms all over the globe. They will not be disappointed.

The story is delightful. It carries you along with it’s easy rhymes and charming characters, turning page after page to find what the author has in mind for her cast of ugly heroes. There is rhythmic repetition which smaller children can join in once they know what to expect and with ‘invisible counting’ and just enough word changes in the ‘chorus’, younger readers will have to stay alert and not recite parrot fashion. Incredibly, in just fifteen pages, Julia Donaldson has also managed to squeeze in an educational benefit, teaching readers about some unusual wildlife and their habits, as well as a ‘message’ about looks that parents, teachers and carers will certainly enjoy on the last two pages.

Axel Scheffler’s beautiful illustrations are detailed and gentle as always. One young reader described them as ‘realistic in a not realistic kind of way’. I couldn’t agree more. He has obviously had fun with The Ugly Five as well as the opportunity to showcase his immense skills in a compendium featuring the Big Five the Little Five and the Shy Five at the back of the book

The Story

We’re the ugly five, we’re the ugly five.

Everyone flees when they see us arrive.

Meet Wildebeest and Warthog, Spotted Hyena, Lappet-Faced Vulture and Marabou Stork. People call them the Ugly Five … but are they really?