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).
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.