May 6, 2013

George's Marvelous Medicine

So friends, I mentioned 'George's Marvelous Medicine' by Roald Dahl last year, just in passing in a post where I was mentioning some books I had picked up at a used book shop. I realized, now that we've read this book three times, that I had to focus further attention on it.

BECAUSE IT'S THE FUNNIEST BOOK EVER.

Do you have a sweet, kind grandma? A loving grandma? Hopefully you do, or did.

George, not so much.

His grandma is a "grizzly old grunion" who berates him at every turn, and is basically the WORST GRANDMA EVER. This is not a nice lady. One day George has had enough and decides to 'supplement' her normal daily medicinal tonic and make it STRONGER. (because, he reasons, whatever medicine she is currently taking is not improving her in any way. and isn't medicine supposed to make you BETTER??)

How does he do that? Easy peasy! He goes around his house, and makes a new medicine for grandma, by dumping EVERYTHING HE CAN FIND into a pot and boiling it together.

Lipstick. Shoe shine ointment. Talcum powder. Motor oil. Deodorant. Paint. Nail polish remover.

You know....ANYTHING. Did you ever make 'potions' when you were a kid? Out of whatever random stuff you could find? George does it, and makes something truly unusual.

(#legaldisclaimer: Don't really try this and give it to your grandma! Or anyone else.)

The pictures by Quentin Blake, as always, push the story into another level of absurd, happy fun.

Ok so here's what happens real super fast, because I think reviews are inherently BORING and I like to give out minimal info speedy quick before your eyeballs glaze over. Have I lost you already?

George makes the medicine. He gives it to grandma. GRANDMA GROWS SUPER TALL. Boom! Out the roof! Grandma thinks this is FANTASTIC and the best thing to ever happen to her.

She's still mean.

George gives the medicine to some of his farm animals accidentally. They grow too. Then his dad comes home, thinks this is ALL AWESOME, and gives the medicine on purpose to some other farm animals. THEY GROW TOO. The mom is wondering how to get grandma a normal size again.

Grandma is still poking through the roof, is still mean.

Turns out the medicine is temporary, or do they make a new medicine? Andrew and I are trying to remember but we're both too lazy to go look it up. Anyway, George's dad's dreams of growing super-sized farm animals is dashed to smithereens and OOPSY, Grandma shrinks away into nothing.

BYE BYE GRANDMA!!! SO LONG! Fare thee well!

Ok. I must share that my child literally HOWLED with laughter at this book, as did my husband and I. This one was so funny that we all read it together, so no one had to miss out on what was happening (usually Andrew and I take turns reading to Julia at night). We were crying with laughter. The dark humor of Roald Dahl is such genius, it boggles the mind.

BEST BOOK EVER. (we read this last year, when my kiddo was 6, and have read it twice more since then. best for ages 6-10)

19 comments:

  1. Interesting! Might have to check this one out for my six year old - although then I'd have to keep my eyes out so he doesn't medicate the younger kids =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha! or try to medicate you!!! tee hee. it's super great, and SO FUNNY!

      Delete
  2. Eek! If we ever finish The BFG (on hold while we finish the Clementine books), I think we'll need to get this one next! Sounds like a blast!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh you gotta. it's way funnier than 'The BFG' (which is super great!).

      we're having a crisis (or i am) ~ too many books to read, don't know which to choose......

      Delete
  3. I can not wait to read Dahl with my little one. This is fabulous. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as much as i loved my kiddo when she was a wee one....it's really been the greatest thing ever reading the bigger kiddo books with her!!

      Delete
  4. Amazing story! Not sure my kid will get the humor though but maybe I am under-estimating him. I especially love the part with the mean grandma going away... hahhaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is HILARIOUS. we were all giggling like fools, all the way though :)

      Delete
  5. How have I not read this? Must read this now! Is Quentin Blake a knight? BTW, I had to buy Once Upon a Time, A book of Old-Time Fairy Tales--I remember you blogged about it and I had to get it. Thank you for that--one of the best buys ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if he is! He should be!

      I am SO SUPER HAPPY that you got that book. Isn't it wonderful? Every time I start to get overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in running this blog, someone writes me and tells me how much they loved a book I suggested and then....it makes it all totally worth it!!! xoxo

      Delete
  6. i'm so getting this for fiona.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOU MUST. you guys will LOVE it. I think I've read most all of the Roald Dahl books, and this is one of the best, in my opinion :) It's especially fun to read out loud, because of the crazy grandma dialogue.

      Delete
  7. my kids have been listening to all the Dahl books on cd over the past few days. Not, unfortunately, through love of literature, mainly because I said "enough screens!" and they headed to their bedroom to sulk. While I was putting away the clothes in my room, I overheard bits of Witches. Absolutely terrifying, but brilliant. Anyway, I just wanted to chime in and say you are so right, these are stories to read and re read and laugh every time. ps witches is for over tens only I'd say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we have 'The Giraffe, The Pelly & Me' on cd...I'd love to get some more. We borrowed 'The BFG', read by Natasha Richardson, that was loads of fun, she did such a great job with the narration!

      LOVE 'The Witches'! Agree with you on the age suggestion for that story :) ~ have you seen the movie? Angelica Huston is so hilarious, but it's not for the very sensitive or easily scared. We'll be waiting a few years for the kiddo to be ready to see that one!

      Delete
  8. oh, I just know my boys would love this one. So many books, so little time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh I really think they would!! i hear you. SO MANY BOOKS. sometimes i feel quite stressed about it. :)

      Delete
  9. Lilac is on a serious Roald Dahl kick right now! She used her birthday money to buy a copy of this, even though I have one...and when I told her she just replied that now she had her OWN copy...apparently we aren't sharing books anymore...oh dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha! I'm surprised my kid hasn't done that to me as well ~ the books she's inherited from me are so old and smudgy!

      Delete
    2. also, she thinks everything I own is hers for the taking :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...