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Five Minutes' Peace Paperback – April 5, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 112 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 (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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: Board book Verified Purchase
I discovered this book years ago while staying over at my aunt's house. My little cousin woke me up early and was bouncing around the room excited for me to be visiting. I grumbled, and he very seriously asked me "would you like 5 minutes peace?" I was so excited! I said "Yes!" and cuddled back under the covers.... just to have him crawl in bed next to me and hand me this book. I laughed so hard I though I was going to fall off the bed!! Now its a favorite of mine, and my cousin is giving it to my Baby (pregnant and due in June) as a "welcome to the family" gift.

As an actual review of the book: Its adorable. Perfectly captures a Mom's love for her children, while simultaneously wanting to just get a few minutes alone every once and a while.
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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: Board book Verified Purchase
I read this book to my kids 25 year ago and still love the story just as much as I did then. Any mother of several young children will appreciate Mrs. Large's quest to take a bath. Any mother can relate to how the children react when mom tries to take a bath! This book is classic and one of my all time favorite children's books. My sister-in-law sent it to me 25 years ago when we had four children under five years of age. I read it to the kids almost every night for a year! Delightful story. Great illustrations. The board book is sturdy and good quality.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I love this book. My kids' preschool used it for a learning project before mother's day and made bath salts for a Mother's Day present. The best part of the gift was that they came to understand when I needed "Five Minutes' Peace" every once in a while.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love, love, love this book. Funny with great drawings. When I was pregnant, I was like 'humph'. But now you can see the patience and love in Mama Elephant. And I really love the opening lines: The children were having breakfast. It was not a pretty sight."
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This was a favorite book of mine when my thirty-something children were young. It always seemed that when I jumped in the shower or tub, there was a knock on the door that needed my attention. This was purchased as a gift for a friend who has two preschoolers. I thought she would enjoy reading it to them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw this book at a book fair and decided it would be a great way to demonstrate to the kids how mommy needs some peace too. I read the book to the kids with a british accent. They seem to really enjoy that.
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