Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Five Minutes' Peace” as Want to Read:
Five Minutes' Peace
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Five Minutes' Peace (The Large Family)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  1,326 Ratings  ·  128 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 Books (first published January 1st 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Five Minutes' Peace, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Five Minutes' Peace

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 22, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star
As a child this was one of my favourite stories. I loved reading about the Large family, with its long-suffering mother who just needs a break! The illustrations are adorable too. A firm family favourite.
Oct 21, 2013 Jewel rated it really liked it
Shelves: with-the-kids
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.)
Aug 09, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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 Reynolds
Oct 18, 2016 Hannah Reynolds rated it really liked it
I had forgotten how much I loved this book. It used to a childhood favourite of mine and I found it in a charity shop over the weekend so decided to give it a read. I would strongly recommend this book to a KS1 class to discuss how hard parents work and the importance of having our own time.
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
Apr 20, 2015 Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I don't know where my copy has gone! I simply can't have thrown it out! Did it get worn out?My first meeting of an adorable great niece (who amazingly survived meningitis)& I ignored her until I reread her copy of this wonderful book!

Out of all the great books I read to my children this was my favourite. Beautifully illustrated, the text is on two levels, so that adults can enjoy a wry smile while reading it to their youngsters.

Just can't recommend highly enough!
Oct 16, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Five minutes peace is a story involving the Large Family, a family of elephants that consists of Mr Large, Mrs Large, Lester, Laura and Baby. Mrs Large stacks a tray with several items she likes and tries to go upstairs for a bath and ‘five minutes peace’ from the family. However, the children have other ideas. First Lester comes in to play his mother a tune, this is followed by Laura wanting to read her mother a book and then baby brings in some toys for her to play with. The story ends up with ...more
Sarah Walsh
Nov 30, 2012 Sarah Walsh rated it really liked it
“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
Carina Mcdonagh
May 01, 2012 Carina Mcdonagh rated it liked it
'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
May 07, 2012 Ina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime-reads
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
Feb 20, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
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
Paul Jackson
May 01, 2012 Paul Jackson rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2011 Paul Foley rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it
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.
Meg McGregor
Feb 18, 2015 Meg McGregor rated it really liked it
I discovered this book a while ago, and just read it again, and wanted to write a review!

As a Mother, and a full time nanny, I can so relate to Mrs. Large's wish for five minutes of peace.

There are days while watching my little ones, (I am their nanny) that I wonder where they all get the energy to stay up and not nap.

When they are sleeping (a gift straight from heaven, as most Moms will affirm) is when I get my "minutes of peace!"

And when I have time to write reviews for Goodreads.
Shelby Toren
Aug 11, 2012 Shelby Toren rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Zielske
Mar 03, 2015 Daniel Zielske rated it it was ok
"Five Minutes' Peace" is a story that parents will relate to and enjoy perhaps more than the children will. Revisiting it with two teenagers, having probably not read it in a dozen years, I don't view it the same as I once did. Yes, one can make the case that it's "real," but I don't love the message it may give when reading it to one's children.
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.
Nov 01, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, ks1
So many fond memories as this book! My mum used to read it to my siblings and I regularly (I think it was a bit of a hint). Even as an adult I still enjoy reading this and it's defiantly one I will keep on my bookshelf! Beautifully, yet simply written!
May 31, 2015 Neda rated it it was amazing
A funny picture story book :) Guess mothers can feel how Mrs. Large feels :-D
Julia Wickenden
Mar 17, 2014 Julia Wickenden rated it really liked it
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
The Large Family: five Minutes Peace is one of many stories about the family of elephants. It is a funny story that many can relate to. It is about a day where Mum desires just five minutes to herself. However, this goal is constantly thwarted by her children who constantly desired her attention. The pictures are bright and engaging and really capture the essence of the story- allowing all children to understand and engage.
Various tasks could be derived from this book. The literacy task could b
Amy Forrester
Feb 14, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2012 Conor rated it really liked it
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
Mimzi Darling
Oct 11, 2012 Mimzi Darling rated it it was amazing
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
Cierra Henderson
Apr 05, 2016 Cierra Henderson rated it it was amazing
This book has always been one of my childhood favorites. It is about a mother of three elephants. These elephants are young, noisy, messy, and rambunctious! All the mother wants is a few minutes of piece and quiet to herself, but everywhere she goes her kids follow her and want her attention. The pictures are hilarious and tell the story of all the different things the children are doing that are not mentioned in the text. I love this book because this is apparent in nearly every family where th ...more
Jul 31, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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
Samantha Sterling
Apr 22, 2014 Samantha Sterling rated it really liked it
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
Jun 26, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing
The story of Mrs Large trying to get just 5 minutes peace from her three noisy children is as amusing, relatable and heart-warming today as it was upon its release 30 years ago (1986). A favourite amongst parents and children alike, the book not only chronicles the typical chaos of family life but also considers the impact such chaos can have on the matriarch of the family. In this sense, it is a useful book to introduce to KS1 children learning about actions and consequences and promoting indep ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Anjumanara rated it liked it
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
Janie Dullard
Jan 06, 2014 Janie Dullard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Tiddler: The Story-Telling Fish
  • Burglar Bill
  • Meerkat Mail
  • Little Old Mrs. Pepperpot
  • Please Mrs Butler
  • Hugless Douglas
  • Hiccups For Elephant (level 2)
  • My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes
  • You Choose
  • Dr Xargle's Book of Earthlets
  • Spring Story
  • Alfie Gets in First
  • A Picture for Harold's Room
  • John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat
  • Little Beaver and the Echo
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 about Jill Murphy...

Other Books in the Series

The Large Family (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • All in One Piece
  • A Piece of Cake (Large Family)
  • A Quiet Night In
  • Mr. Large in Charge
  • The Large Family: Laura Bakes A Cake (Large Family Tv Tie In)
  • The Large Family: Luke Tidies Up
  • Lester Learns a Lesson. Based on the Large Family Stories by Jill Murphy
  • The Large Family: Lucy Meets Mr Chilly
  • The Large Family: Grandpa in Trouble
  • The Large Family: Sebastian's Sleepover

Share This Book