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The Ugly Five


The Ugly Five Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 19
19 Reviews
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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.

The Ugly Five Reviews | Toppsta


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9th October '18
I read it to Bob's aged 5 aged 5
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
Yet another lovely book written by Julia Donaldson. My children loved the story and the illustrations. My little girl liked identifying each animal as we went along. Nice rhyming through the story and a nice happy feeling at the end. 
10th March '18
I read it to Babylc aged 2 aged 2
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
We really enjoy this book at bedtime. My toddler loves that he can point out the animals and I love stories with a moral in them. It’s a bit different to our usual book but we love it. 
12th December '17
I read it to Nusaiba aged 7 aged 7 , to Abdullah aged 5 aged 5 & to Maryam aged 3 aged 3
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
They all really enjoyed this story and particularly liked the theme or moral of the story. Teaches everyone to not focus on their physical appearance. Overall a nice bedtime read!
15th May '18
I read it to FreddyBoggis aged 5 aged 5
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
Another great rhyming book, with lots of animals to see. On each page you meet a different animal, who thinks they are just as ugly as the last. As they walk along they sing a song. But there are some animals who don’t think they are ugly and like them just the way they are. My animal loving little boy enjoyed this book.
6th November '17
I read it to DexterLogan aged 4 aged 4
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
I read this to my 4 year old who was instantly captured by the beautiful illustrations.

I'm a massive fan of stories with a message and the message in this story is strong - that even if you think you're the ugliest thing in the world, there will always be someone who finds you the most beautiful.
12th September '18
I read it to Matthew aged 6 aged 6 & to Sophiajane aged 1 aged 1
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
Another fantastic Julia Donaldson story to add to our list of favourites. This story has a lovely message for the reader about not focusing on physical appearances, we all have something that someone loves about us.

The illustrations are clear and detailed and there is so much to discuss throughout the story. We liked singing the song and adding on an animal each time.

At the end of the book there was a discussion page with ‘The Ugly Five’ and our favourite ‘The Shy Five’.

I’m sure this will become a story we read time and time again.
11th January '18
I read it to RC13 aged 4 aged 4
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
Another great book from Julia Donaldson. My daughter really enjoyed the rhyme, and was able to join in along the way. She loved the illustrations which gave us a chance to talk about the different animals and why they are the way they are.
25th August '18
I read it to Rpk aged 7 aged 7 & to MLK aged 4 aged 4
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
5 stars
Another amazing book by Julia Donaldson with the most beautiful message!! 
We enjoyed followed the top 5 ugly creatures across the Savannah. 
As usual the stormy rhymes perfectly and there’s a few giggles along the way. 
The illustrations are fantastic all of the animals are brilliant! 
2nd January '19
Madh read it themselves aged 3 aged 3
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
Not one of our favourite books by Julia Donaldson but a good read with a lovely ending about how our children see us. 
7th June '18
I read it to RS aged 7 aged 7 & to ES aged 3 aged 3
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
We love Julia Donaldson and axel so as soon as we saw this we snapped it right up. Tells the story of a group of animals lately considered to be less grand and interesting as grandees such as tigers and lions! The animals are all factually correct and we learnt a few new ones from this book. Illustrations as always are mesmerising. Usual superb rhyming text and a repeating rendition on each page makes the book fun and helps break up what is quite a long story. My two are 3 and 7 and they both loved it 
27th December '17
I read it to LCR08 aged 9 aged 9 & to GCR13 aged 4 aged 4
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
We are huge Julia Donaldson fans, but this one doesn’t quite match up. 
We love recognising the different animals throughout the book, but haven’t been able to find a tune/song that the song in the book fits to which, for me, is a problem as it is repeated regularly and stays that they sing it, but I can’t make it work.
The illustrations are fantastic. Traditionally in this style of book by Julia Donaldson, there is an image of The Gruffalo in one of the illustrations, but we haven’t been able to find it in this one - has anyone else?
12th October '17
I read it to LA12 aged 4 aged 4
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
Leo enjoyed this beautifully illustrated book about some rather strange looking animals in Africa. He liked the rhyme and song and learning about some of the animals different attributes. The pictures had lovely detail and he especially liked studying the rubbish dump to see what he could find hidden. The Safari animals at the end were a nice addition to the story and Leo liked talking about the animals he would and wouldn't like to see. 
29th August '18
I read it to Jaanu aged 6 aged 6
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
We love Julia Donaldson books, and although this is not up there with Gruffalo or Money Puzzle, it certainly is a good book. It is  about learning to love and accept your flaws. Also a good book to get if your kids adore safari animals!
19th October '17
I read it to Georgie aged 6 aged 6
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
I initially thought it was a very strange title and was not quite sure whether my 6 year old would like it. We read it on two consecutive nights and found that we got so much no out of the book. The book really grew on us. It pr9vided for discussion as to who we thought were the ugliest animals. We loved the rhyming in true Julia Donaldson’s style. The ending was great as it shows that being ugly is so subjective. We loved the last two factual ident8fying the big 5, the little 5, the shy 5 and the ugly 5. Great illustrations.
30th October '17
rsa read it themselves aged 7 aged 7
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
It had been quite sometime since my son had read or listened to a Julia Donaldson picture book. Even though this is for a younger audience, my son was quite happy to read it himself and said that he enjoyed it. His favourite part was 'at the back of the book. Where there are picture of the Big, Little, Shy and Ugly Five. I thought it was funny how the Little Five have the names of the Big Five in them. I also liked the illustrations.'

However, there particular Julia Donaldson picture book, does not have the same charm (even the overall message is lovely: that those who love you, are able to see beyond ugliness) and flow of her earlier works such as The Highway Rat and The Snail and the Whale or indeed Gruffalo. Saying that it is still a great book, we were just spoilt a little earlier on.
7th November '17
I read it to swalkee aged 2 aged 2
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
My little son has this as his go to book at the minute. He is enjoying pointing out new animals and has added hyena, warthog and wildebeest to new animals
26th March '18
I read it to Ellawall aged 5 aged 5
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
4 stars
An interesting book...I usually love Julia Donaldson books, I'm not so sure of this one. The ending is nice of course, but 2/3 of the book is referring to the characters as ugly. For older children they will remember the ending that it isn't the outside that counts,  but all my 5 year old remembered was that they were ugly which isn't a great message.
15th September '17
I read it to Squirt aged 3 aged 3
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
3 stars
Quite a nice story and the illustrations at top notch but not as good as Julia Donaldson's previous works. The story is of the 5 ugliest animals in Africa (as opposed to the big 5 people go to see) they all appear one by one singing the same song with their own verse added about how ugly they are, until their babies come out at the end to say they think quitr differently about their parents. It was a nice story with a cute end, but I struggled to get the words into a song like tune and found myself fumbling through the story. 
11th May '18
I read it to Jumping jack1 aged 7 aged 7 & to Jumping jack2 aged 5 aged 5
The Ugly Five 9781407174198
3 stars
Having loved reading Julia Donaldson to my children over the years I decided to buy this. A beautifully illustrated book I was quite looking forward to reading it but ultimately I was disappointed. Julia's rhyming and the beautiful illustrations were not the problem butore the actual message of the book. 
As the children get older I would like them to learn a lesson from what they read to aid their development  but I don't want them to label anyone or anything as ugly. Yes, in the end the 'ugly' animals were in fact loved by the other animals but I don't like the 'ugly' word use. Children should know each of us are different but that no one is ugly but a beautiful creation who can make bad and good choices. 
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About Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson Biography

Exciting news for Julia Donaldson, as she has just been made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year's Honours List 2018. This is after being made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2011. 

Julia Donaldson is a highly talented author of some of the best-loved children’s boo...

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About Axel Scheffler

Axel Scheffler Biography

Axel Scheffler is an acclaimed illustrator, animator and more recently author of children's books. He was born in Hamburg in 1957 and moved to England in 1982 in order to study illustration at the Bath Academy of Art. He then worked for a variet...

More about Axel Scheffler


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