'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 3 December 2017

Review: The Ugly Five

What animals do you think you can find on the African plains?

In Julia Donaldson's new book The Ugly Five you will see beautiful and majestic lions, zebras, giraffes, flamingos and cute little meerkat's.

Then why is it called The Ugly Five? This is the twist that makes this book fabulously different from all the other African animal books that you have read before.

Julia Donaldson's story highlights animals that she describes as ugly, weird, chunky, skinny, plain, grotty, stinky, grisly and gruesome. We meet each of the ugly animals as the story unfolds and through their hideousness and difference they unite. As the crew grows in number, the ugly five sing a new variation of the original song;

'I'm the ugly one, I'm the ugly one.
I'm the ugliest animal under the sun. 
My ungainly appearance is second to none.
I'm the ugly one, I'm the ugly one...'

Wait! Aren't we told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we should look beyond what we see, to see the beauty on the inside? By the end of Julia's book the babies of the wildebeest, warthog, vulture, hyena and marabou stork change the way the ugly five think about themselves and are proclaimed to be the '...lovely five' that are cuddly, kind, brave and strong.

The Ugly Five is filled with Julia Donaldson's witty and engaging rhyme that is a delight to read aloud. Julia has once again teamed with illustrator Axel Scheffler who has previously illustrated her stories Room on the BroomSuperworm and Zog. In The Ugly Five Axel has created illustrations that are bold and detailed. There are many opportunities to find a variety of African animals in the book's pictures. You will need sharp eyes to locate the animals listed at the end of the book, some were so shy I couldn't find them.

I would recommend that you take a look at this heartwarming, funny and poignant story where the ugly and unusual animals find pride in themselves and their differences.

Title: The Ugly Five
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Scholastic, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781407174198
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book