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Who’s that singing on the savannah? It’s the top-five ugly animals in Africa! 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, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s gorgeous picture book is a jubilant celebration of animals who are often rather unloved. The funny, heart-warming rhyme is a joy to read aloud, while bold, comical illustrations bring the savannah spectacularly to life.
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.
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