Monday, 7 September 2015

5 Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy (Walker Books)

Jill Murphy's timeless classics featuring The Large Family have been around for a quarter of a century! Wow! Let's take a fresh look at one of the best books in the series...

Both my wife and I grinned when we saw (and re-read) "5 Minutes Peace" - a book that would have meant something entirely different to us as kids, but as parents it's one of the most deliciously well observed slices of parent-child interaction you'll possibly ever see in a children's book.

Centring around The Large Family - who are, of course, elephants - it's the tale of long-suffering Mum who has just about had enough of her three boisterous children's shenanigans. Armed with a soothing cup of tea and a rather nifty shower cap, Mrs Large decides she deserves a long hot (and hopefully peaceful) soak in the bath.

Of course, as parents will know, even finding 5 seconds to go to the loo without something erupting around the house or the kids getting up to mischief is hard enough, let alone a blissful 5 minute soak. Lester, Laura and Luke clamour for attention and before long bathtime erupts into a complete kerfuffle and mum probably wishes she'd locked the door behind her!

It's a fantastic story that parents will nod wryly at with every turn of the page, while kids will laugh at the hilarious antics of the Large children. It's made us determined to track down and read the rest of the books (which are equally fab!)

Charlotte's favourite bit: The sheer chaos of breakfast at the Large Family household. Eeeks!

Daddy's favourite bit: It's so completely accurate a portrayal of parental life that you'll either laugh heartily, or wistfully sigh as you realise the last time YOU had a long hot soak was probably just before your kids were born.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"Five Minutes' Peace"

Written and Illustrated by Jill Murphy

Published by Walker Books

Release Date: 1st September 2011