THE UGLY FIVE by Julia Donaldson

THE UGLY FIVE

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fan favorites Donaldson and Scheffler (Zog and the Flying Doctors, 2017, etc.) return with a rhyming introduction to the so-called ugliest animals on the African savanna.

The story begins with the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard) and friends lounging about being “glorious,” “cool,” “fine,” “divine,” “graceful,” and “great.” When a wildebeest enters the scene, the other animals don’t label her, but she proclaims herself “the ugly one” (though the description of her physical appearance doesn’t entirely match the illustration). The wildebeest doesn’t seem bothered to be ugly and soon meets the hyena, who she thinks is even uglier than she, and the hyena concurs. The wildebeest invites the hyena to “Join the club,” and a pattern emerges. As they walk through the savanna, they’re joined by a vulture, a warthog, and a marabou stork. Each time a new animal joins the bunch, they modify their silly song about how ugly they are. Readers are sure to enjoy singing along to this, though making the rest of the text rhyme is sometimes a stretch. At the end, their children proclaim them to be good parents and the loveliest of animals. Scheffler’s signature illustrations add humor to the story and bring the setting to life.

This tale of celebrating inner beauty should appeal to Donaldson and Scheffler’s fans as well as to animal lovers. (author’s note, picture glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: July 31st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-338-24953-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2018




MORE BY JULIA DONALDSON

ChildrenWHAT THE LADYBUG HEARD NEXT by Julia Donaldson
by Julia Donaldson
ChildrenTHE DETECTIVE DOG by Julia Donaldson
by Julia Donaldson
ChildrenZOG AND THE FLYING DOCTORS by Julia Donaldson
by Julia Donaldson

MORE BY AXEL SCHEFFLER

ChildrenTHE CHRISTMAS TREE by Nosy Crow
by Nosy Crow
ChildrenFLIP FLAP OCEAN by Nosy Crow
by Nosy Crow
ChildrenPORTLY PIG by Nosy Crow
by Nosy Crow
ChildrenZOG AND THE FLYING DOCTORS by Julia Donaldson
by Julia Donaldson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenLOVELY by Jess  Hong
by Jess Hong