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Five Minutes' Peace

(The Large Family)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,084 ratings  ·  174 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)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,084 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Oct 21, 2013 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.)
Dec 22, 2016 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.
Aug 09, 2009 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
Christmas Carol ꧁꧂
Apr 20, 2015 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!
Poor Mrs Large!
I think this book really gives us with no children yet a very clear idea of just how tiring and tedious kids can be sometimes, god help us all! :D
Beautiful illustrations and very entertaining.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Recently I was visiting my hometown and my mother decided to clean out the attic and purge clutter. She discovered a box of my favorite childhood books, and I was flipping through them to decide if I should keep or donate all of them. This was one I loved and I definitely enjoy the humor even more as an adult. A treasure. I adore Jill Murphy's work.
Hannah Reynolds
Oct 18, 2016 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.
Luisa Knight
I believe this is a picture book for parents. You might find it funny, or it might hit too close to home. You'll have to be the judge of whether a-touch-grumpy Mrs. Large and her failed attempts to get away from her needy children brings a chuckle or a sigh.

Cleanliness: children weasel their way into their mom's alone time (even though she tells them to go) and one of the children by telling her that she's not fair and must like one of the other kids better.

**Like my reviews? I also have
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Mrs large looks after her children all the time and would like five minute peace . When she tries to relax she ends up having a bath with all the children.

The story is told with speech marks and written as a narrative, the story using descriptive words and clearly explains the plot which will help children to understand what is happening. The illustrations in the poem are simple with bright colours and detail.

The reader could bring experiences to the book, if they were an adult they may
Judith Johnson
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh I just love this!

Firstly, because our ex=neighbours were the Large family.

Secondly, because this book is about our family . I and my seven siblings were always pestering my dear sainted mother when she was taking a bath. Unfortunately she never locked the door, and I have a clear memory of sitting on the (lid down, naturlich!) toilet beside the bath and chatting merrily away to the poor woman!

PS I also put it on record here that I HATE autocorrect with a passion!
Oct 16, 2015 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 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
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Really cute story with wonderful illustrations. But 2, one to give away!
Raquel Curvacheiro
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a mother of two young boys (who follow me EVERYWHERE) I could easily relate with this book. Both boys loved the story... I'm just not sure they took in the subtle message...
Busy Mummy
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can totally relate to Mrs Large in this story. The story just made me laugh because it was like taking a peek into my world. Haha! Such a classic and delightful story similar to the rest of the series about the ‘Large family’. The illustrations are beautiful too.
Claudia G-D
Poor Mrs Large just wants 5 minutes peace! Very sweet story. I love the illustrations particularly the large family- very cute.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Mama said this book was very accurate. :D
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved revisiting this childhood favourite with my step niece.
May 01, 2012 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
May 07, 2012 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 ...more
Feb 20, 2014 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
Paul Jackson
May 01, 2012 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 ...more
Paul Foley
Sep 14, 2011 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 ...more
Aug 09, 2009 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 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.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Zielske
Mar 03, 2015 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.
Nov 01, 2015 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!
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.
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A funny picture story book :) Guess mothers can feel how Mrs. Large feels :-D
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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

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