Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: Esio Trot

Title: Esio Trot
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children's, comedy, animals, romance
My Rating ***
Official Rating: Children's Fiction
Age Group: 4+
Poor old Mr. Hoppy is in love with the little old woman who lives just one balcony below his. The only problem is that Mrs. Silver (a widow) loves someone else: Alfie. Mr. Hoppy is afraid to speak up and has no idea what to do. Indeed, whatever is Mr. Hoppy to do about Alfie?

Word of Warning:
  • Mr. Hoppy's solution is to speak to Mrs. Silver about Alfie (her tortoise). He lies, convincing her that saying certain words backward will make Alfie grow bigger.
  • When said backward, "up" sounds like "poo," something Mrs. Silver is slightly concerned about.
  • Mr. Hoppy buys more than one hundred tortoises and replaces Alfie with one slightly bigger, tricking Mrs. Silver into thinking that Alfie has grown. He continues to do this, then even takes a step backward in size, before Mrs. Silver is content.
  • Mrs. Silver takes notice of Mr. Hoppy thanks to the kindness he has done her.
  • Mr. Hoppy marries Mrs. Silver (who, apparently, was also in love with him) and never tells her the truth about Alfie (Alfie does have a good life, as noted at the end of the book).
My Thoughts
Honestly, I was laughing the entire way through this short little book. Granted, the characters don't learn a moral lesson, but the story is funny and relatively innocent. Perhaps a brief discussion on "lying never pays" would be a good follow-up to a reading of the book.
It's short, it's funny, and it's appropriate for children. That can be incredibly hard to find at times.


grandma jane said...

Enjoyed this review and would make me want to read this book.
I'm happy to see that you included a suggestion for a follow up discussion as I agree it's a good catalyst for teaching. Yeah for books!

Maria Gianna said...

Grandma Jane,
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. The book itself was a cute story for children that was actually quite fun to read. In the future, I plan to review more books by this author. I also hope to write more reviews on books, but the challenge is those reviews take more time and are harder to do because of the format. Which would explain why a blog written by two girls who can never go anywhere without a book is filled with movies.
Really, the fact that Mr. Hoppy got away with lying and even married Mrs. Silver in the end was the only problem with the book, so I thought I'd suggest a solution to that. I'm glad you liked it. I think most books (and even some movies) can be used for teaching.