Monday, 1 October 2012


Reviewed by Jackie Marchant

It was Roald Dahl day recently and there was a thread on Twitter asking everyone what their favourite book of his was.  The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me was one that came up a lot, but it’s one that I hadn’t read.  So I borrowed it from the library and settled down to read it.

The book is about Billy, who dreams about buying the closed down and derelict building that used to be a sweetshop.  But then he discovers that it has been sold – to a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey, who are setting up a ladderless window cleaning business.  But they need to hurry up and find work, before they all starve.

Needless to say, Billy helps them and in doing so, ends up saving a duchess from being robbed by a burglar and fulfilling his dream of owning his sweetshop.

It is typical Roald Dahl in its lightheartedness, absurdity and total believability.  It has everything that children love, from mysterious old buildings to talking animals and dreams coming true, plus some rhymes you can sing along to.  And then there’s the grumpy old man.  And sweets to die for. 

This is everything you’d expect from Roald Dahl – a captivating book about dreams, friendship and co-operation.  Perfect for snuggling up and reading to a child.  But I rather enjoyed reading it to myself.



jongleuse said...

One of our favourites Jackie! The Little Angel Theatre did a fab puppet version a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Good to have a lesser-known Dahl book titles highlighted. And, of course, with pictures by my most favourite illustrator.

Penny Dolan in anonymous mode. (Thanks, Blogger.)

Jane McLoughlin said...

My son and I saw a musical production of this wonderful book 20 years ago in a tent on Shepherd's Bush Green. We still remember some of the songs, and the play was a fabulous introduction to a writer whose work is still an influence on Sean. It's remarkable how many of Dahl's works have been successfully adapted for stage. Thanks, Jackie!

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