Suitable for 0 - 2 years

Board Book
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Product description

The funny and joyful picture book from the number one bestselling author and illustrator of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Zog. ‘Morning had dawned on the African plain. The lion lay grooming his glorious mane. The kudu looked cool and the rhino looked fine. The bright pink flamingos looked simply divine. The zebra looked graceful; the leopard look great. Oh what a picture of beauty – but wait!’

Who’s that singing on the savannah? 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, this gorgeous picture book is a celebration of animals who are often rather unloved.

  • Sturdy board pages with softly rounded corners are perfect for little ones
  • A funny and comical picture book from the UK’s number one picture book author and illustrator
  • Perfect read-aloud rhyming text and stunning pictures on every page with lots of details to spot
  • Full of fabulous animals!
  • Celebrates being yourself, family and friendship
  • From the creators of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Zog, which have all been made into animated films
  • The animated film of Tabby McTat stars voice artists including Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) as the narrator, Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey) as Fred, Sope Dirisu (Gangs of London) as Tabby McTat, alongside Cariad Lloyd, Joanna Scanlan and Susan Wokoma.
  • Look out for Jonty Gentoo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler in 2024.

‘Evoke[s] the love between parents and children of every species’ Guardian

Our October 2020 Ages 0-2 Book of the Month

I have chosen The Ugly Five Board Book as my pick for October, as it’s a great one for that all-important end-of day bedtime moment. It features a lovable bunch of quirky animals that will soon become firm favourites with little ones, helping them engage with words, books and print from an early age in a fun and accessible way.

There is a reason that Julia and Axel’s books are devoured bestsellers and constantly winning awards: Julia’s texts are always the ultimate read-aloud, offering the perfect lyrical pitch of rhythm and rhyme – just what youngsters love to hear. Axel’s pictures are bursting with colour, character and real kid-attraction, with lots to point out, spot and talk about. Kids love animals, and this book celebrates the top five real-life ‘Ugly animals’ of Africa, who learn to rejoice in their ugliness, and whose own babies think they’re perfect just the way they are. With themes of empathy, kindness, acceptance and celebrating difference, it’s a great one for your library.

Experts agree that by reading aloud to your child on a daily basis you bolster their chances for success in school and later life, and help to develop listening and visual skills. Encourage them to touch and hold the sturdy pages and just watch the excitement as they interact. Repetition of words is key to youngsters’ early vocabulary, so try sharing a book every day.

Yvonne – Book Club Editor, Ages 0–6
Yvonne – Book Club Editor, Ages 0–6

Product Details

Catalogue number

36 in SCB Offer December 2023


Board Book



Date published

October 3rd, 2019

Other details

  • 30 pages




Julia Donaldson

Photo of Julia Donaldson

Axel Scheffler

Photo of Axel Scheffler


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