writing

Old Favourites

One of the best things about teaching children’s literature is getting to revisit old favourites – books I loved when I was tiny, some of which I’ve read several times throughout my life, some of which I haven’t been back to in years. In the second category is the book I’m just about to teach – George’s Marvellous Medicine, by the godfather of children’s books, Roald Dahl.

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Although it isn’t quite as famous as Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryMatilda, or Fantastic Mr FoxGeorge’s Marvellous Medicine is still classic Dahl, with disgusting potions, a clever child hero, and characters so gruesome they could ooze off the page. I’m talking about the villain of the piece, George’s Grandma.

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George’s Grandma is the subject of what is, in my opinion, one of Dahl’s greatest descriptions ever: “She was a selfish grumpy old woman. She had pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog’s bottom.” It soon becomes clear that George’s Grandma is just as nasty as she looks; she treats George badly, bossing him around and criticising him for growing. Like so many of Dahl’s villains, George’s Grandma gets her just desserts; if you haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that Roald Dahl had a strong sense of irony.

What’s your favourite Roald Dahl book? Do you have any other old favourites that you haven’t read for a long time?

 

2 thoughts on “Old Favourites

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite, without a doubt. The chocolate lake. The grass that tastes of mint. The square sweets that look round. It’s just so chocolately…

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