Review Blog

Oct 18 2017

The ugly five by Julia Donaldson

cover image

Ill. by Axel Scheffler. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781407174198
The ugly five is a book about five of what are considered Africa's least attractive animals - the wilderbeest, warthog, spotted hyena, lappet-faced vulture and the marabou stork. Scattered throughout the book are also a number of animals children will be familiar with. Donaldson creates a touching storyline where the group of savannah's 'ugly' creatures face rejection from their fellow animals, yet realise that their own children think they are the most wonderful animals and parents in the world.
The takeaway message of it does not matter what is on the outside, the inside is what is important, will resonate with children and will make a welcome addition to a social skills program. Discussions could centre around what the students consider to be beautiful. Do we all think the same things are beautiful?
Julia Donaldson has done it again and the accompanying illustrations by Axel Scheffler will create plenty of discussion. Audiences will be kept entertained with the memorable rhyming passages throughout the book.
Kathryn Schumacher

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