The Ugly Five is a FIVE rating all around. I had known about the group of animals called The Ugly Five but had forgotten about them until reading Julia Donaldson’s book. At the end, she gives more information on the different animals as well as the others in the “Five Series” of animals: The Big 5, The Little Five, The Ugly 5, The Shy 5 and The Impossible 5.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the five animals that are not the loveliest by the standards of the other animals of the plains. However, each one is pretty darn proud of their ugliness and assumes there is nothing as ugly, fearsome or disgusting as they are. That is, until they meet one of the other animals on the list. They sing, dance and are real proud of who they are and what they look like throughout the book. However, at the end they find out that in some very special animal’s eyes, they are the most fairest of them all.
Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are some of the best not exactly realistic, but not cartoonish illustrious I have seen so far. They are laugh out loud awesomeness and just fit the upbeat, goofy setting of the text. To see that these animals are proud of what they are without having any confrontations with the “pretty animals” or having to prove themselves to “fit in” with the “ugly animals” is refreshing.
The Ugly 5 are the hyena, wildebeest, vulture, warthog and the marabou stork. Which frankly, they might not have the sleek look like the lion or tiger or meerkat, but they are pretty darn cute. Well I could do without the poop on the marabou stork…..