The Ugly Five – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

I am thrilled to be joining in with the BLOG SAFARI for the new fantastic collaboration between Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. My girls were brought up on a diet rich in the ‘Gruffalo’, ‘Stick Man’, ‘Monkey Puzzle’,’ Snail and the Whale’ and the ‘Room on a Broom’ just to mention a few of their wonderful books. Over the holidays we even managed to squeeze in a visit to Axel’s exhibition at Mottisfont Abbey, and took a ride on the famous broom, who had room on its broom for three booklovers!

So we were delighted to discover that they have managed to sprinkle their unique magic yet again over another irresistible picture book, were we are taken to the African plains to meet the lesser known and definitely more ugly and weirder than the proud lion and the magnificent elephant, ‘The Ugly Five.’ Who would want to spend time with: the ungainly wildebeest; the grotty hyema; the wrinkled lappet-faced vulture; the warty warthog and not forgetting the marabou stork? Surely everyone would flee when they see them? How could they possibly survive, this motely bunch of creatures alone with only each other for friends. But this tale has a heart-warming twist as the creatures realise and  we soon discover, that beauty is only skin deep and everybody is loved by somebody.

Julia has created a beautiful and engaging story which is a total joy to read out loud with it’s rambunctious rhymes which trip superbly off your tongue. She really does have the amazing ability to transform a story into a theatrical performance when you share it, who could resist the nuances of sounds scattered through the text. Axel’s illustrations are sublime, the spreads are sumptuous and filled with the most intricate details that capture wonderfully the humour of the story. This book is a triumph from start to finish and I can’t wait to share it with the children at school.

Blog Safari

Today is the last stop on the Blog Safari so why not visit the other stops to find out more about the inspiration behind the book, for activities and giveaways.


Thank you to Penelope and Scholastic for sending me a copy of this fabulous book and for inviting me to take part in this splendid Blog Safari!

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