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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Five Minutes' Peace Paperback – April 5, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mrs. Large just wants five minutes' peace from her three rambunctious elephant children, that's all. But what meets her eyes one morning when she enters the kitchen? "The children were having breakfast. This was not a pleasant sight." Pure understatement for a mealtime mess that includes an overturned cereal box, a dripping jar of honey, crushed soft-boiled eggs and on the littlest one, the wearing of a once-full bowl of corn flakes. So Mrs. Large lumbers off to the bathroom, tea on tray, newspapers in bathrobe pocket. But her bubble bath isn't soothing for long; she's soon joined by three visitors. Lester wants to play a tune for her on the flute. "Must you?" Mrs. Large asks. Laura wishes to read out loud. "Just one page," says Mrs. Large. The toddler offersand he will not be refusedall his bathtoys. Then they hop into the tub. Mrs. Large heads for the kitchen and finds exactly three minutes and 45 seconds of peace. This book is pure joy, one that parents, not just children, will want to keep on hand; Murphy's frazzled mom will find a soft spot in every reader.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 Mrs. Large determines to have just five minutes' peace from the mess and confusion of her beloved children. She fixes herself a tray, runs a tub of lovely warm water, fills it with bubble bath, and hopes for those precious moments alone before facing the day's activities. The ``activities'' follow her to the bathroom, where, one by one, they present her with their special talents of playing the recorder, reading aloud, and dumping favorite toys from the toy box into the tub with her. When all three children climb in, Mrs. Large decides, with a groan and resignation, that she will try for five minutes' peace in the kitchen. Cheerfully bright watercolor illustrations depict this endearing elephant family with distinctive humor and expression, totally complementing the text on companion pages. However, while the text is simplistic enough for primary readers, the humorous depiction of a beleaguered mother is adult-oriented. Some children may wonder why Mrs. Large wants to get away from her children. Nevertheless, a hearty chuckle can be experienced during a shared reading time between a mother and her childrenperhaps eliciting a bit of understanding. Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, Ohio
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 360 (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (April 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698117875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698117877
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
All mothers will easily be able to relate to Mrs. Large. Mrs. Large just wants five minutes of peace away from her three children, so she decides to take a bath. Minutes later her children join her, one by one, and end up in the bathtub with her. Finally she has had enough, and goes downstairs "where she had three minutes and forty-five seconds of peace before they all came to join her."
Mrs. Large and her family are all elephants, which causes for some absolutely wonderful drawings. My favorite is probably when she is sitting in the bathtub, sipping tea, while wearing a yellow flowered shower cap. The pictures in general are really cute, colorful and expressive. The story is told in a very straightforward, endearing manner. In my opinion, this is a great book.
Loggie-log-log-log
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Has a plot that EVERY mother will know all too well. Mrs. Elephant futilely tries to relax in the bath; this is impossible with her three active kids. Illustrations are colorful and funny, so is the story. Great gift for ages 3-5 years; older siblings will enjoy listening to it as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of the boys' favorite books when they were small! And mine too. I never tired of reading it to them! My aunt is a child psychologist and has this and others by Jill Murphy in her waiting room. There are too many parents out there feeling guilty.....this book will take the sting out of guilt and replace it with the knowledge that you are not the only parent who just wants five minutes of peace and quiet!!!!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent story for mother's of young children! This book will make any mother feel as if the author has actually followed her around the house for a morning! I use the book as gifts to my "mom" friends ... it's kind of a celebration gift and a way to tell them, "You are not alone!!!"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love to give this book to new mothers. It was given to me when I had my first daughter and it made me laugh! How true it is to try and get a simple bath or shower once you have a child.
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Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book! All stay-at-home moms or dads can relate to this story. My children couldn't understand why I liked it so much until they were older. I can't understand the one review that thinks it shows such disrespect. The story is so funny! It is so true! It is exaggerated, but that makes it all the funnier. The children (though elephants) are children, and act like children. They can't understand why their mother would want to have 5 minutes away from them. Don't we all feel like that sometimes! I sure do! This is my all-time favorite children's book. I am taking it to a college storytelling class tonight for my read-aloud picture book.
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Format: Paperback
After ranting on the phone to a friend about my life with twin toddlers, she sent this book to me as a gift. What a gift! It was a huge hit for the whole family! It made me laugh because it captured my exasperation with mothering toddlers in an honest and humorous way. My girls loved Jill Murphy's amusing illustrations and the funny chaos that the Large kids create. And most importantly, they were able to empathize with Mrs. Large. Woo hoo! It gave us the perfect set up to teach our kids that parents need breaks too (and that even a shortened break of 3 minutes and 45 seconds is a welcome respite to refuel the zapped energy!)
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book back in the early 90s when I was 7 or 8. I remember enjoying the drawings and story and as an introverted kid, I could relate to Mrs. Large's quest to find 5 minutes by herself and it was a book I liked to come back to many times. Of course, I wasn't so introverted in my own home and I remembered this book randomly today, at 29.. now I can figure out why Mom bought it which I find quite funny now. I think I took the hint (most of the time)! :-)
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