Hello all! Today we have a guest blogger. She is the co-author of the blog Caution: Moms At Play and has graciously agreed to review a book for our blog. Many thanks to RealMom4Life!
Title: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children's Fiction
My Rating: ***
Official Rating: Children's Fiction (G? PG?)
Age Group: 3 or 4 on up for a read-a-loud. Possibly a little older for solo readers...taking into account the warning below. But, that depends on the child.
Summary: The story begins with a little boy staring at an old wooden candy store that is for sale. Pretty quickly into the story he meets the new owners of the building. They are a monkey, a pelican, and a giraffe who happen to be talking animals that work together and have their own ladder-less window cleaning business. After his introduction to this unique group a car pulls up and requests their presence at the home of the rich old millionaire who lives in town (he wants his windows cleaned). Since the boy is more familiar with the town, they invite him to partner with them. Together they go to the millionaire's home. During the cleaning process some burglars are discovered and caught by the team. The millionaire is so thankful that he hires the animals on as permanent employees and gives each of them a sort of permanent gift (the pelican loves salmon, of course the millionaire happens to have a salmon stream on his property and let's the pelican eat all he wants). As a gift to the boy he purchases the old wooden house, converts it immediately into a candy shop, and they run it together.
Word of Warning: The were a few words that surprised me...damnation and damninable (both spoken by the old millionaire). Since I was reading this aloud I simply skipped over them. There is also one mention of some sort of candy called Devils Drenchers that cannot be sold to children under the age of 4 (again, very easily skipped during a read-a-loud).
My Thoughts: It's a very whimsical story and my 5-9 years olds enjoyed it. I had no problem glossing over the items in the warning above. The part I am always a bit surprised at in these types of books is how the boy simply goes along with 3 "characters" he just met, accompanying them to a strange old man's residence. Maybe the reason it doesn't disturb me more is because the story revolves around three talking animals...making it very clear this is a work of fiction. We did, however, take a few minutes to discuss some bad decisions the little boy made when he went off with these strangers.