Friday, 4 April 2014

ReaditDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 4th April 2014 - "The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me" by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake (Puffin Books)

The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me

Written by Roald Dahl

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Published by Puffin Books

We're slowly working our way through Roald Dahl's amazing catalogue of stories, and I can't understand how we'd previously missed "The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me" as it's easily one of the best Dahl books ever.

Spinning together the themes that made Dahl such a legendary author of children's books, you'll find a boy hero - an ordinary everyday sort of boy who dreams of owning the world's greatest sweetshop. He always daydreams about a property in his neighbourhood that would be absolutely perfect for the shop, an old ramshackle place that the boy is convinced he can fix up.

He's sad when he notices that someone else has bought the property, and what's more they seem to have fitted it with the strangest door you've ever seen.

All is revealed as the boy meets a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey who own their own window-cleaning business. But how on earth can a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey clean windows? They have no bucket and no ladder so how on earth can they possibly succeed?

The boy joins them as they take on their toughest job yet, cleaning the many windows of a manky stately home. Pelican reveals his amazing slide-top beak that can hold soapy water, Giraffe has the most amazing extendable neck to reach the highest windows, and monkey can shin up that neck and buff windows to a high sheen.

But window cleaning is just one of their many talents, as the rumbunctious owner of the stately home is burgled and calls on boy, Pelly, Giraffe and Monkey to help solve the crime!

We love getting lost in Dahl's descriptions, particularly of sweets. Here he makes your mouth water with descriptions of the finest sweets in the land, that the boy dreams he'll somehow stock in his store. You'll love Quentin Blake's trademark fluid and gorgeous illustrations that feel like they move and flow on the page and there really couldn't have been a better choice to illustrate Dahl's books than Blake.

Above all though, you'll love this book just as much as Dahl's other more well-known classics. Hooray for Giraffe, Pelly, Boy and Monkey!

Charlotte's best bit: The mysterious (and intricately illustrated) method of Pelly's beak deployment - and Giraffe's lovely eyelashes

Daddy's Favourite bit: Sometimes when it's quiet I can hear the great man himself reading his fabulous words in his gentle and lilting deep voice. There'll never be anyone to eclipse Dahl's talent. A booky superstar!