Five Minutes' Peace
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Five Minutes' Peace (Norsulan perhe)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  541 ratings  ·  96 reviews
All Mrs. Large wants is five minutes' peace from her energetic children, but chaos follows her all the way from the kitchen to the bath and back again.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 5th 1999 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1986)
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220th out of 1,182 books — 879 voters
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Community Reviews

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midnightfaerie
This one really strikes a chord with me. I am SO Mrs. Large. A book my 6 yr old as well as my twin 3 yr olds loved. A solid reading level 1 book, this cute story keeps all ages engaged with the bright colorful pictures and cute story. A great addition to any children's library.
Jewel
The story of my life, I almost cried when I saw it.

It was really funny when I was "trying" to read to the kids tonight as I also have three kids and I kept referring to them and they giggled.

And then I needed five minutes peace afterwards.

(You would not believe how many times I was interrupted while writing this review.)
Kathryn
This is such a fun portrayal of a scenario every mom faces now and again--the great need for just five minutes all to herself!!! Of course, the children can't quite understand this and keep wanting to join in on her fun. The scene with all of the kids climbing into the bathtub with her is priceless!!! :-D
Hannah
This was a book I enjoyed as a child and I was pleased to find it hadn't aged badly at all!

The story of a mother elephant looking for a bit of peace and quiet on a Saturday morning is funny and very true to life. I could hear my own mother's voice in her tone: "Go on, all of you, off downstairs" and then ultimately relenting - she listens to her son practice his recorder (Twinkle Twinkle three and a half times) and her daughter reading. All of the characters are very relatable and there are grea...more
Carina Mcdonagh
'Five Minutes' Peace' by Jill Murphy, tells the story of a mother elephant who just wants some time alone in the bath, however her three children have other ideas! This is a family orientated story that children and parents will be able to relate to, it could be used as part of a families topic or to generate discussion for Mother's Day. This is a story I would use with children in the EYFS because of the simple lexis and big, bold pictures.

The anthropomorphism present in the story attracts chil...more
Sarah Walsh
“Because I want five minutes’ peace from you lot, “said Mrs Large”
This is a jolly book about a mum who just needs five minutes break. Mrs Large (mum) sneaks away from the messy house and the noisy children and takes refuge in the bath with a cup of tea. Mum is no sooner enjoying the peace when one by one the children barge into the bathroom to play instruments and recite stories and just create havoc in general. Through all the commotion, all three children end up in the bath with mum and baby e...more
Ina
I discovered this book many years ago when I was home raising three young children and wondering if I would ever enjoy a hot meal or converse with an adult in full sentences ever again. Mrs. Large yearns for just 5 minutes peace. So she sneaks off to the bathroom to enjoy a soak in the bath with tea and the paper...and enjoys about a minute of "heaven" before, one by one, her three youngsters invade the bathroom, and finally end up in the tub with her. She sneaks back down to the kitchen where s...more
Paul Jackson
Five Minutes Peace describes the trials and tribulations of a mother elephant who has three young children. She tries to find "Five Minutes Peace" away from her children but they make sure that she does not have this time alone, as they are in constant search for attention and to better one another. The illustrations in the book are excellent and accurately portray what is happening in the story and this would be useful for learners who use english as an additional language, for some children wi...more
Paul Foley
This is a book from a series called the Large family which is about a family of elephants. In this one, Mrs. Large is trying to get five minutes peace away from the kids so she heads to have a bath. However, the kids want to come with her and keep coming in to play music to her, read a book to her or bring her toys to play with. Eventually all the kids jump in the bath with her so she heads back to the kitchen to try and get her few minutes peace there. The illustrations in the book are excellen...more
Julia Wickenden
Five Minutes' Peace is a picture book by Jill Murphy. It represents family life in an entertaining way, with elephants as the central characters. The illustrations are lovely.

The story begins at breakfast time, with the children making a lot of mess in the kitchen. Mum therefore lays herself a breakfast tray and heads to the bathroom for five minutes' peace. She faces continual interruptions from the children and therefore doesn't get much peace in the bath. With the children in the bath, she sn...more
Ann
Aug 19, 2009 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katie :)
What a cute idea!

Five Minutes' Peace is about just that, a mom (elephant in this case ;>) trying to get Five Minutes' Peace from her three children.

She attempts to enjoy a nice, hot bath. But, too soon after she ventures into the tub, the children come.

The illustrations are warm and joyful and complement the text.

Probably parents will relate to the book more than children, but it could be a good book to help teach children about being respectful of other people's needs, space and time.
Shelby Kuzma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Sterling
Mrs Large just wants five minutes peace in the bath... But her three children have other ideas.

Five minutes peace is part of the Large Family collection of books, all of which I would recommend. This short story with bold writing and lovely illustrations is suitable for children in early years or Year 1. The illustrations will help those less able to read as they clearly tell the story. The children can have fun guessing what might happen next and can share their own thoughts and experiences. A...more
Conor
Five Minutes Peace is one of four fantastic books written by Jill Murphy about the Large family, who happen to be a family of elephants. Five minutes peace is a humorous book dealing with the everyday stress that mothers deal with due to their hectic schedules.


In this book, Mrs Large wants 5 minutes peace so that she can relax in her bath, however this proves to be an increasingly difficult task as she is constantly pestered by her 3 children. In turns, the children enter the bathroom playing m...more
Amy Musser
Mrs. Large has 3 rambunctious elephant children who are quite a handful. So she makes herself a tray of breakfast and tries to sneak out the kitchen door, but the kids want to know where she’s going. Mrs. Large says she just wants 5 minutes’ peace from them to take a bath. The kids decide their mom can’t possibly want that much time away from them and one by one they invade the bathroom, reading stories, playing music, and bringing bath toys. Before she knows it, the kids have joined her splashi...more
Mimzi Darling
Poor Mrs Large lives in a house with three excitable little elephants, who will not leave her alone - not even for five minutes! She dreams of a soothing bath, and five minutes to call her own. However, her little ones have other plans!
'Five Minutes' Peace' is a lovely story, following Mrs Large's struggle for some space and time alone. The pictures are large and interesting - providing much to talk about with a younger reader. The text is clear and easy to read. Jill Murphy brings to life a ver...more
Jane
This is a darling story that will strike a chord with mothers everywhere as the mommy elephant tries to get 5 minutes peace, and her children follow along everywhere she goes. It feels a bit too negative sometimes, but so does being a mom. This would make a better picture book than a board book, which is the form I received it in. The text is a bit too long to hold the attention of babies and toddlers, but my preschooler listened attentively.
Dolly
Jun 01, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining story about a weary mom who just wants five minutes alone in a bathtub to relax. The narrative is short and the illustrations are colorful, but I felt like the mom was a bit too irritable-looking throughout. Still, we thought it was a funny tale and we enjoyed reading it together.
Shana Stoll
One of my long-time favorites! Great glimpse into the mind and life of a mom. Funny, sweet and poignant!
Rachel
I know I'm losing my credibility by giving all childrens' books good reviews but OH. MY. GOD. This was probably my favorite book as a kid. There's this elephant family, and the mom is like, so stressed out. And her kids keep bothering her and trying to play her these gay songs on the recorder while she's in the bathtub. Also I love the part where the little boy elephant comes into the bathroom and throws all his toys into the tub:

"For you!" he beamed, throwing them all into the bathwater.

My mom...more
Anjumanara
I love this book as its is a typical scene in a house hold that children and adults identify with....children also enjoy and identify with the mischief that the large family children get up to!!! It is amusing as Mrs Large tries very hard to get five minutes peace from the children; off course very unsuccessfully!! My little boy gets me to read this to him every now and then and once we start we have to go through all the others in this series. Beautifully illustrated and detailed....and familia...more
Emkoshka
These elephant children are so absolutely adorable, although perhaps not to their long-suffering mother who just wants five minutes' peace. I'll admit that I was one of these kids when I was young (probably all three in one!), but who doesn't want to spend every waking minute with their mother when her love is so unconditional?
Lectorsbooks
While I adore many of Jill Murphy's Large Family series, this one is my absolute favorite. The text is a bit long per page to read to a younger child (my one year old can't always make it through the story), but it is a charming book that pays tribute to the busy lives moms lead. One of my favorite things about rereading it as an adult is noticing all the fun little details that are packed into all the pictures - for example, there are crayon drawings of elephant stick figures stuck on the fridg...more
Kim
Will the long-suffering Mrs Large finally get the five minutes peace she needs from her three children? Do we even need to ask? :-)

The story and illustrations still amuse both reader and read to after many iterations...
Melanie
Mrs. Large wants five minutes peace from her children who are eating breakfast and making a horrible mess in the kitchen. She makes herself a tray and tries to sneak into the bathroom. Her goal is to take a bath without her children bothering her for five minutes. Her desire is quickly shattered when, one-by-one, each of her children join her in the bathroom and eventually in the bathtub with her. Eventually, Mrs. Large leaves the bathtub to try to get 5 minutes peace in the kitchen.
Angie
Synopsis: "All Mrs. Large wants is five minutes' peace from her energetic children, but chaos follows her all the way from the kitchen to the bath and back again."

My Review: Five minutes peace definitely doesn't exist in my house even with one child who isn't mobile or talking yet! I can't imagine 3, poor Mrs. Large. It is a cute book and seems to be more for the adult reader than the children but Munchkin still enjoyed the pictures.
Elizabeth K.
On the plus side, we really enjoyed the illustrations and Lucy got a big kick out of all the little visual details that go along with the story.
The story itself, though, left me a little cold. I get the joke, that you as the parent relate to the mother elephant trying to carve out a little peace and quiet, but I don't think that translates particularly well for a small child. In order for it to work, it would need to be a lot funnier.
Justin
I don't understand why the target audience of this is for children. It's like a passive aggressive way of hinting to your children for leaving you (the parents) alone. The hilarity of the end is that the end, and as we parents know all too well, five minutes peace never happens.

I've found that changing my attitude to living in the moment will help to take away the frustrations that arise from not getting five minutes of peace.
Nicki Blomquist
As an adult that knows how it is to want five minutes peace, I liked this book. I also liked the illustrations and the details. However reading it with my child cap on I get the feeling the mom in this story does not want her kids around. Throughout the story the mom looks for peace from the kids but never really receives it. I kept waiting for the happy ending but it did not come.
Hilary
What a mother does for just 5 minutes' peace... The baby wasn't listening, but I had to keep reading anyway!
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18451
Jill Murphy is a London-born English children's author, best known for The Worst Witch series and the Large Family picture books. She has been described as "one of the most engaging writers and illustrators for children in the land."

Jill Murphy was born in London and attended the Ursuline Convent in Wimbledon which, together with the boarding school stories she enjoyed reading, provided much of th...more
More about Jill Murphy...
The Worst Witch (Worst Witch, #1) The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2) Peace At Last A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch (Worst Witch, #3) The Worst Witch All at Sea (Worst Witch, #4)

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