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"Growing is a nasty childish habit," Grandma tells George. "Never grow up. Always down". This Roald Dahl gem comes just pages into his book, George's Marvellous Medicine and I settled back onto the sofa more comfortably. I was in for a real treat here - this was Dahl at his best.
There are a number of aspects of Dahl's style of writing I enjoy such as his no-holds barred approach to characterisation, his use of similes to bring his descriptions alive, his made up words and his sense of humour. He is also not afraid to write stories which many other children's authors would shirk at, so far does he push the boundaries of children's literature.
All of these qualities are present in George's Marvellous Medicine. I was also struck by the book's fast pace. It romps through the action, barely pausing for breath and it is clear Dahl set out to really enjoy himself writing this one.
This is not the first time I have read this book. I read it when I was a child - several times judging by the battered condition of the spine - but I have to admit, before I started re-reading it, I could not quite recall the plot. Unlike many of Dahl's other novels like Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate factory I don't think I had quite the same empathy with the child protagonist. I think this is due to the short story style of George's Marvellous Medicine, only skimming the surface of the characters' backgrounds. Even so, I noticed on re-reading this book as an adult what it lacks in depth it makes up for in cleverness in other areas.
The story begins when George's mother goes out and leaves him alone to look after his grandma. He is an only child and his father's farm is in the middle of nowhere so he has no children to play with. He is bored.
His grandma is an odious woman who he suspects is a witch. She terrifies him with talk of eating bugs hidden in cabbages and celery and threatens she will tell him secrets that will make his eyes pop out of their sockets. She has to take her medicine four times a day and George think it never does her any good.
He decides to make her a new medicine using the contents of the whole house. Nothing is out of bounds except the medicine cabinet which he has been told contains things which can kill, yet his main hope is his marvellous medicine will make his grandma explode.
Dahl is not afraid to push the limits of acceptability in his description of grandma. He says she has a "small puckered mouth like a dog's bottom" for example. I loved the way he uses common derivative terms to describe her - the old bird, the old geezer and the old wurzel. This is incredibly disrespectful but it had me in stitches. Dahl really knows how to ramp up the comedy.
What I did notice - and this surprised me - was my switch in empathy in re-reading the book. As a child I doubtless empathised with George, having to put up with his horrendous grandma. I would have been cheering him on for sure as he added appalling ingredient after appalling ingredient to his mixture.
As an adult I started to see it from grandma's perspective. As a child, without doubt you believe grandma is motivated by pure evil and like George think she must be a witch. As an adult I realise she is quite clearly winding George up. She has eaten a slug as surely as you or I. She knows the right buttons to press to get a rise out of her grandson.
I also noticed the similarities between the two characters - both are incredibly bored. George has no children to play with and grandma is left to sit in her chair all day. No wonder she enjoys winding George up. It's something to pass the time.
Despite George's early horror, he too revels in the consumption of all kinds of disgusting life forms when he embarks on making his medicine. George is as devilish as his grandma. "How I'd love to walk in and slosh it all over old grandma and watch the ticks and fleas go jumping off her", he says. And despite his fear his grandma could be a witch, he recites a rhyme similar to a witch's incantation when mixing up his medicine.
What seemed slightly at odds was the grown-up tone of George's speech. An example is the way he says it will "knock the old girl sideways". I suspect this book is as much Dahl's revenge on grandma as George's. It is his voice we hear speaking out through George.
The whole book plays to children's desires. What child wouldn't like to ransack the whole house and pour the contents of every bottle into a pan to make a fantastic brew. While as an adult I cannot help thinking what trouble George is bound to get into when his parents get home. I also wince at the latest ingredient he is tipping into the pot, concerned over its effects. I would never have had this concern as a child. The nastier the better I would have thought.
I adore Dahl's descriptions. He at once makes them humorous but also enables the reader to understand exactly how something feels, smells or what it sounds like. "Whenever he got a whiff of it up his nose, firecrackers went off in his skull and electric prickles ran along the backs of his legs."
Dahl's description of the effects of the medicine on grandma will really fire up children's imaginations. She takes off from her chair, clouds of smoke coming out of her mouth. "Call the fire brigade", grandma calls, "man the hoses".
Dahl makes it clear no characters are completely set in their characteristics and being a child or an adult is no dictator to how they will behave. Grandma becomes positively juvenile on finding herself growing and growing. "Give me another dose, my boy, and let's go through the roof", she calls. While George's father, far from punishing George, cannot believe the merits of this medicine. He feeds it to all of his farm animals to make them super-sized and dreams of opening a marvellous medicine factory and selling it on to other farmers by the ton. It is George who then becomes the voice of reason.
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed reading George's Marvellous Medicine again and recommend it to children and adults alike. It provides a welcome escape from the realities of life and allows the reader to run riot with George for just a little while. Children will giggle and clap their hands in glee. Adults will do the same, with perhaps a bit more concern for poor grandma's well-being.
George Kranky is a young boy living on a farm with his father, mother and grandmother. While generally a pretty happy boy, he is fed up of his grandmother's selfishness, grumpiness and overall attitude. One day, while his parents are out, he decides to make his grandma some special medicine which he thinks will cure her of her nastiness, and mixes in everything in the house he can find including toothpaste, washing powder, gin, curry powder, petrol of all things, chicken medicine and one quart dark brown gloss paint (for colour).
After putting in every liquid he can find into the pot, he mixes it up and serves it to his grandmother. Miraculously enough, instead of dying, she begins to rocket in size, until she is taller than the house.
The rest of the story concerns when his parents get home, and what they make of it all (his father comes up with the idea to use it on the farm animals and sell it to other farms, but George forgets what he put in it).
George's Marvellous Medicine is a ridiculous book, sure, but that's the whole point. Roald Dahl builds these worlds for kids that only they could really think of. He tailors these stories for the children and, with it all from George's perspective, we never once question the stupidity of putting all kinds of poison into a pot and feeding it to your grandma.
In his children's books, Dahl always treats the protagonists like he would the audience, with a level of respect for them and never leaves out any gory or "mature" (I use this term pretty loosely) parts. At the end of the book (spoiler), the grandmother is given another medicine which makes her shrink, but she shrinks too much and eventually vanishes completely (and none of the family members are really all that bothered about it).
Dahl, in all the simplicity of his stories, conjures up wicked and fantastic imagery which really makes George's Marvellous Medicine, and others like it, one of the number one choices for kids.
As a child I was a big fan of reading and I used to go through books very quickly. I can remember going to the library once a week on a Thursday with my Mam and my Great Grandma and taking out the maximum allowed which was 12 books. I always finished them all before returning the following week and sometimes I'd wait in the reading section for them and have a book half read before I'd even left the library!
One of my favourite authors was Roald Dahl. His sense of fun and his wild imagination appealed to me immensely and I read and reread his books often.
George's Marvellous Medicine was one of my favourites and I recently read it again after picking up a selection of Roald Dahl books at a car boot sale. Upon starting to read I immediately regressed back to childhood and devoured the book!
The story centres around George, who lives on a small farm with his Mother, Father and Grandma. His Grandma is a nasty old woman who only thinks of herself. One day George's parents go out, leaving George to take care of his Grandmother and give her her medicine. In an attempt to cure his Grandmother of her selfishness and general unpleasantness, George decides to concoct a medicine of his own to give her, using delights such as Golden Gloss Hair Shampoo, WaxWell Floor Polish, sheep dip and dark brown gloss paint. However George is unable to predict what effect the medicine will have on his Grandma....
Even though it's written for children, I still enjoyed the book and really like the writing style used. Roald Dahl really seemed to have a talent for getting into a childs head and knowing exactly how far he could go. I suppose it could be said that the book contains a lot of dark humour, especially towards the end, but children all over the world enjoy it.
This is the perfect book to get away from adult problems for the 15 or so minutes it takes to read and become a child again. We all have people we'd love to see get their comeuppance and this book almost makes it seem possible!
The book is illustrated by Quentin Blake, who did the vast majority of Dahl's childrens books. In my opinion Blake is just as responsible as Dahl for the success of this book as in this case the pictures really are part of the story and I don't think the book would be the same without them.
From the back of the cover....
George's grandma is a grizzly, grumpy, selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog's bottom. Four times a day she takes a large spoonful of thick brown medicine, but it doesn't seem to do her any good. She's always just as horrid after she's taken it as she was before.
So when George is left alone to look after her one morning, it's just the chance he needs...
The above quote really confirms for me that older books are better. Nobody would be able to get away with saying a character had a mouth like a dog's bottom nowadays!
The book is widely available and is currently on Amazon for 1p plus postage.
My six year old son has just started getting into Roald Dahl books so my mum went up into the loft last week to pull out some books from my childhood that were written by him. There were about 10 in total but we started with this one as it is one of the shorter stories.
George's marvellous medicine is about a young boy called George who is left alone with his disgustingly horrible Grandma for the day. His mother's parting words were 'Don't forget to give Grandma her medicine at 11 o'clock'. George decides to make his own medicine for the old hag; after all it can't possibly make her any worse. He isn't allowed to go into the medicine cupboard for ingredients but he uses any other lotion, potion and substance he finds around the house to make up a special batch. Grandma takes the medicine and it has a few unusual effects.
This is a delightful story that really captivates the reader from the off. I read it aloud to my son and I think this adds to the effect because I can use different voices and tones to express the characters. I even found my partner coming in for story time so he could listen.
Roald Dahl descriptive writing is fantastic. He explains each detail brilliantly without ever being boring. The words he uses are sometimes a little bizarre but they work so well. He also seems to have the humour of a young boy as my son finds some of the more disgusting humour hilarious. Although some of the pieces are a little close to being offensive, the spirit of the story doesn't mean to be rude or impolite so I don't think it is inappropriate.
This book invites you in to George's world and I really can sympathise with his character and understand his motivation for making the medicine. Although what George is doing is really quite naughty, I can't help but feel sorry for him. Grandma is easy to dislike as she is so dreadful and unpleasant. She makes a great villain and although she mellows a little as the story continues, she is still horrible.
The normal consensus in our house is to read a chapter of a story each night but I couldn't help but read on. If it wasn't just me, my son was eager to find out what was going to happen and how it would all turn out.
Roald Dahl was a childhood favourite of mine and reading this back makes me realise why. This story has both funny and serious moments all thrown in together and the language he uses holds really draws you in to the story. He has a great talent for involving the reader in the book and sucking you in.
There are black and white illustrations by Quentin Blake which are a useful tool for my son as he can look at these whilst I'm reading. Although a nice addition, I don't rely on them much myself as I like to use my imagination to add colour and depth.
I am really glad we got this book out to read. I loved this story as a child and it still holds my attention as an adult. I would definitely recommend it for any age group. I have enjoyed reading this to my son and will certainly be carrying on through the collection.
Georges Marvellous Medicine
I love reading and for as long as I can remember I have been a complete and utter book worm. The very first books I fell in love with were 'Georges Marvellous Medicine' and 'Fantastic Mr Fox' by Roald Dahl. Throughout his work, Roald Dahl creates a world where the fantastical seems possible. His imaginative storylines and engaging narrative style were completely intoxicating to me as a young child and I can remember hiding a torch in my bed so that I could carry on reading these gems long after my bed time.
Over the years I have read and re-read these books so many times that I could probably have reviewed them from memory. In the interest of fairness though I decided to dig out my old copies and re-read them over the weekend. Unfortunately I couldn't find 'Fantastic Mr Fox' but I did find a battered old copy of 'George's Marvellous Medicine' which is the book I will be reviewing today. As you would expect, it wasn't the most challenging of reads for a 26 year-old grown-up but I have to say after all these years I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
George Kranky is a young boy who lives with his mother and father on their farm. George is an only child and due to the isolation of the farm he never has any other children to play with. The bane of George's life is his crotchety and cantankerous grandmother who lives with the family.
One day George's mother goes into town for the morning leaving George to his own devices, the only instruction being that he must give Grandma her medicine. As soon as his parents are gone, George's grandma begins ordering him about and scaring him with tales of witchcraft and sorcery.
After much provocation George resolves to make a new medicine for Grandma, one that he hopes will revitalise and rejuvenate her.
After ransacking the house and the garden shed for ingredients, George creates a spectacular brew and feeds it to his grandma. The medicine makes his grandmother grow and grow until she is too big for the house. Much to his surprise, George has concocted a growth serum which his father intends to sell to every farmer in the land. Unfortunately, George forgets the recipe and is unable to replicate his original invention.
For me the best thing about this book is its imaginative plot. Dahl's enthusiasm for his work shines through in the characters he creates. From the curious and creative George to his grizzly old grandmother, the characters are vital and vibrant. Dahl has a very dry sense of humour which means that there are tons of laughs along the way.
My copy of this book was about 80 pages long and took me about an hour to read from cover to cover. The book is divided up into small, bite-sized chapters, which is great for younger readers (or if you are reading it to them as a bed time story).
The book is fantastically illustrated by Quentin Blake, who captures the dynamic nature of Dahl's characters perfectly. There are a good number of pictures throughout the book which breaks the text up nicely.
I think I was about 6 or 7 years old when my dad read this to me for the first time. I would say that the book is probably aimed at children in the upper years of primary school (year 3-6), but as I said I read it again last weekend and loved it!
Next year I am starting my PGCE teacher training course and I will definitely be using Roald Dahl as a staple author for my primary school lesson plans. I am certain that my life long love of literature stemmed from the hard work my dad put in encouraging me to read when I was young. Roald Dahl's books are the perfect tool for encouraging young readers. They exude an enthusiasm and vitality which draws the reader into the book and makes them never want to put it down. I can't recommend his work highly enough!
'George's Marvellous Medicine' was the first of Roald Dahl's stories which we read to our eldest son. It's the story of a little boy who has a real stinker of a grandmother. She's rude and scary and bosses him around all the time. One day George's mum and dad have both gone out, leaving him alone with his Grandma. George has had enough of Grandma bullying him and so decides to cure her of her cantankerous behaviour with a special potion, which he'll give her instead of her usual medicine.
He finds an enormous saucepan in the kitchen and lugs it all around the house, essentially putting in a bit of everything he finds [lipsticks and canary seed included!]. He even makes sure he adds some brown paint so that it is the same colour as Grandma's real medicine! He then boils it up to make sure that everything's nicely mixed together before serving it to his unsuspecting Grandma!
The 'medicine' has quite alarming results and Grandma ends up growing taller and taller until she is bigger than the family's house. George then tries it out on some of the farmyard animals, and the potion brings about the same results. However, the saucepan of potion won't last forever, and George didn't bother to write down exactly what he put in it so George and his father set about trying to recreate the potion so that they can sell it to farmers and make their fortune. They also need to find a way to shrink Grandma [who is even more of a pain big than she was small and shrivelled up in her armchair] back to size.
My favourite part of this book has got to be George's father's reaction when he comes home to find his mother-in-law's heading poking out of the top of his house. He's far more interested in the giant chicken next to her and just tells her to shut up!
My children really enjoy this book, apart from the song which George sings just before he starts collecting his ingredients. I have given up reading that passage as it causes so much animosity!
I am always slightly disappointed by the end paragraph of this book, it seems to be to bring the book to its close before it's quite ready. I would have liked to have seen George's family making a fortune out of their giant animals! I also think that the ending may be a little disturbing for young children of a sensitive disposition!
This book contains black and white illustrations by Roald Dahl's principal illustrator, Quentin Blake. The cover of the book is red and has a colour illustration of George brewing his potion.
Our edition of 'George's Marvellous Medicine' is a paperback and was published by Puffin books. It's 112 pages long [we tend to read it to our boys in a couple of sittings!]. Our copy was published in 1982, but a newer edition can be purchased for a few pounds from most book shops.
Thinking back to when I was a child I fondly remember there was this one author who spoke to me in a totally different voice. He had a that unique ability to sprinkle magic dust over everything he produced and take you into an entirely different world where you would remain spellbound and entranced, hanging on his every syllable.
That writer was Roald Dahl.
George's Marvellous Medicine was published in 1981.
While his mother goes shopping and his father works in the field surrounding their farmhouse, 8 year old George Kranky is saddled with the unenviable task of giving his repugnant grandma her 11 o'clock medicine. Now with reference to the title of my review, this isn't the type of grandma that the St Winifred's school choir had in mind when they warbled their vomit inducing 'hit' at us in the Christmas of 1980. She is frankly a bit of a witch.
It is quite fair to say the pair aren't too fond of each other, she accuses George of growing too quick and laziness while he hates her repulsive ways, constant moaning and ugly appearance.
George decides it's time for revenge and sets about making his own special medicine for her. He takes a huge saucepan and creates the most unholy concoction you could ever wish for. He raids the contents of each room he can find using everything from sheep dip to shampoo to shoe polish and stirs all the ingredients into the pan to make a potent brew.
11 o'clock comes and as Grandma takes the medicine, strange things start to happen and you could say the story truly 'takes off'.
George's father, Mr Killy Kranky soon appears amid the mayhem but far from from being unhappy and reprimanding his son, he spots a cunning business opportunity arising from the results of the potion. The problem then lies in George replicating the exact mix as the ingredients and portions were so random, it comes down to trial and error with interesting consequences.
It is a wonderful story and as always with Dahl a great idea. He once more delves into the magical depths of his fruitful imagination. His prose is instantly engaging, it provokes whilst it encapsulates. It teases the reader. As an adult you'll find yourself smirking through the pages in disbelief at the turn of events and more so the fact that someone could actually think this stuff up!
Keeping a child's attention isn't always easy, they can be the harshest critics of all due to their fearless honesty. Through his mastery of story telling Dahl finds a way of allowing them to be naughty and mischievous without getting them into trouble.
As early as the second page he refers to Grandma's mouth as 'small and puckered-up like a dog's bottom'. Not only a brilliant description but cheeky and a little crude - kids love it, it's in a book so it is safe to laugh. He's gory, dark and beautifully sadistic at times as Grandma found to her cost moments after taking her dose. The apathy with which the family discuss her demise at the end is also truly Dahlian in its morose delivery.
He doesn't just rely on random chaos though. His alliteration is mercurial and wonderfully paced. He's not afraid to throw in long words from time to time which I find is a glorious way of osmotic learning for children. He'll make up his own onomatopoeic words and infuse them into rhymes. His 'good guy' characters are strong and affable though ultimately flawed and the child can latch on to this.
At just over 100 pages the book can be read in one sitting due to the fact that a great deal of space is taken by the scratchy, claw-mark illustrations of Quentin Blake. Blake's etchings are as much a part of Dahl's books as anything else, enriching the verve on a visual level.
I have as much fun reading this now as an adult as I did all those years ago as a kid. When I read it to my two young nieces the glow on their faces is indescribable, they hang wide eyed and opened mouthed on every word, enthralled by every phrase and if Dahl's writing can make my dull Lancastrian timbre appealing then that's all the conformation anyone needs. I do actually remember Rik Mayall reading this on Jackanory some years ago, they could not have found a better narrator in my book, his eccentricity was perfect for the story.
Roald Dahl died in 1990, he was 74 years old. There is a motto on the inside of the last page of the book that he lived by,
"My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night
But ah my foes and oh my friends
It gives a lovely light."
It certainly did.
Say what you like about Roald Dahl, but the man certainly had a vivid and creatvie imagination. I have always marvelled at the random stories of his, from the BFG to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and this book is no different.
George's Marvellous Medicine introduces us to George, a young boy who is fed up. He's fed up with his mother, his father, the boring scenery, the boring animals on the farm, and most of all his grandmother. She's a bit cantankerous, grouchy, miserable, and has disgusting eating habits.
So, one day, when his mother goes out, he is left in charge of making sure Grandma gets her medicine. Cue Dahl's imagination, as George goes around throwing anything and everything into a pot to make a substitute to shake Grandma up, including paint and chemicals.
When he gives the new, special medicine he has made to her, it has weird and unpredictable consequences. I'm not going to spoil the book for you by telling you what happens, nor will I tell you whether he is able to restore a bit of normality to his life and his family, but it's a thoroughly entertaining read, and one worth giving a go.
The particualr version I have is quite old now, with the pages getting a little loose. There are illustrations by Quentin Blake in them, wihich are quite imaginative and capture the story very well. The tale itself is well written, and the imaginative side of it means that it's great for kids. My 5 year old son loves it. We recently read Fantastic Mr Fox, and I would say that it has elements about it in the writing style that he recognises between the two books.
It's also easy enough for him to have a go at reading himself, which he is doing more and more and more with everything he sees. A book such as this is great for reading at bedtime, but it's also one that you can leave with them if they want to read for a bit on their own.
Overall, a very well written book. It's quite short, with decent sized writing and a few illustrations leaving 112 pages in all, and aimed at kids. There are Dahl books which are longer and more suitable if you want a tale for an older kid or an adult, but I find this ideal for my 5 year old.
When young George is left to look after his foul-tempered, frightening grandmother one day he mixes together a huge panful of the nastiest, most powerful lotions & potions he can find around the farm, & gives Grandma a big spoonful at medicine time. The results are explosive & more spectacular than he ever expected, as Grandma grows until she shoots up through the roof. His mother's horrified but his father sees the potential & feeds some to his livestock to grow them to giant size. All goes to plan until they run out of medicine & try to recreate the recipe...
I love the first half of this book & the growing excitement as George collects more & more awful ingredients for the mixture, knowing that soon scary Grandma will be drinking it with unknown consequences. After she's ridden a giant horse & jumped over farm buildings though it goes downhill a bit for me: George & his dad keep altering the recipe & trying different combinations on the farm animals & it all gets a bit repetitious, & the ending is both a bit of an anticlimax & rather troubling for a young reader.
Any child who has been left to the tender mercies of a difficult elderly relative will immediately identify with Roald Dahl's hero, eight-year-old George. George's family have a farm and there are no friends around to play with at weekends. When his mum goes shopping one Saturday morning, George is left alone with his obnoxious Grandma.
It would be hard to have any feelings of tenderness for George's Grandma. She moans constantly and never has a smile or a kind word for George. Even when he makes her a cup of tea, she grumbles about the sugar and makes a fuss about having a saucer and a teaspoon, even though George has already stirred the tea for her. After criticizing George for growing too fast, she scares the living daylights out of him by suggesting she has magic powers that could make his fingernails drop off and teeth grow there instead.
George rushes off and shuts himself in the kitchen to plan what he might do to 'shake the old woman up a bit'. He has a wonderful idea. He is due to give Grandma a spoonful of her medicine at eleven o'clock, and he decides to concoct a magic medicine to replace her usual one. George bursts into poetry as he hatches his plan. He goes from room to room in the house with a large saucepan, emptying in all the lotions and potions he can lay his hands on, with the exception of those in the forbidden medicine cupboard. George's Marvellous Medicine contains everything from shampoo to floor polish to canary seed. Even the shed and the garage are raided for anything from sheepdip to engine oil. George cooks it all up on the stove and finds himself chanting a magical verse.
The time comes for Grandma to have her spoonful. As soon as she swallows it, she shoots up out of her chair and then comes straight back down again. When she complains that she is on fire, George pours water down her throat. Strange things happen after this, and Grandma ends up several times her normal height with her head sticking up through the roof of the house.
Most boys would be in terrible trouble for causing such commotion but George's dad, being a farmer, wonders if he can use the medicine on his animals to make them super sized too. There might be a problem, however: will George be able to remember exactly what ingredients and in what quantities were in his original Marvellous Medicine? If not, might the medicine have different consequences?
Roald Dahl has created a fantastic tale in 'George's Marvellous Medicine'. Any reader will feel revulsion towards the nasty piece of work that is George's Grandma, and children in particular will sympathize with George's plight at the outset and cheer him on as he concocts his weird and wonderful mixture. Descriptive language and imaginative ideas will delight and entertain readers young and old.
As always, Quentin Blake's illustrations make a distinctive contribution to 'George's Marvellous Medicine'. Grandma certainly resembles a witch, and we see her aghast as she shoots out of her chair, then deformed in various ways as the medicine works its magic. Little George is sketched in the simplest of ways, yet his expression conveys immediately his feelings at different points in the story, whether scared, delighted or amazed.
'George's Marvellous Medicine' is just over a hundred pages long, but the text is set in a large font and there are so many illustrations that the book will not be daunting for a young independent reader. The sentences are on the whole quite short, and there is a fair amount of dialogue to keep a child interested. The longest chapter is about twelve pages, but even then progress is fast because of the number of illustrations.
This is not a story that has to wait until a child is old enough to read it alone, of course. It is a wonderful one to be shared between parents (or grandparents) and their children as a read-aloud book. As it was first published in 1981, some parents may remember it from their own childhood; if not, it will be a hilarious discovery for two generations at a time.
There is, it should be noted, a word of caution at the beginning of the story, warning readers that they should not attempt to concoct George's Marvellous Medicine at home!
George's Marvellous Medicine
Paperback, 128 pages
Price £5.99 (Amazon £3.89)
Also posted on other sites.
I am a primary school teacher and I have just finished reading this book with my class and....they loved it! They couldn't get enough. The story revolves around a young boy called George who is fed up of being ordered about by his grandmother. She would order him to clean and tidy the house and even fetch her medicine. Therefore, one day when his mother and father were both out George decided that he would give his evil old grandmother some medicine....but his own recipe. He walked from room to room...even into the garage. He picked up toothpaste, oil, paint, anything he could find and poured it into a huge saucepan. He made his own medicine. He thought the medicine would sweeten the old lady for an hour or two, however, he didnt realise what a magical effect it would have on the old woman. On their return Mum was horrified at what George had done to his grandmother, however, his father was ecstatic. Could they recreate this medicine in huge amounts? Only time would tell.
A fantastic read. One of Roahl Dahl's best works with lots of twists and turns. The mischevious George and his medicine creates chaos. A great read for children (and adults) of all ages!
George lives with his mother on a farm and hes a happy child who does everyday things, but ther is one thing he hates....his grandma. All his grandma does all day is sit in her chair by the window ordering people around to do things for her. She orders him round so much till one day he is sick to the back teeth of her and plans his revenge on her. One day George is left to look after Grandma by himself while his mum went to town and she orders him to make her a cup of tea, so without any arguements he goes in to the kitchen and finds the biggest saucepan he can find and he walks around the house and anything he can find he empties in to the pan including hair products, paints, chemicals, pet food etc.
When hes put in everything he can find he boils up the pan and pours it in to the medicine bottle that is grandma's medicine came in and gave her her daily dosage.....within seconds strange things start to happen to dear old grandma and there is nothing that George can do to stop it but stand aside and watch.
It is a brilliant story line and i loved reading this book time and time again, i would defanatly recommend this book to anyone with small children.
An extract for George's Marvellous Medicine was in a Roald Dahl Anthology that I was privileged to own when I was younger and was one of the things within it that I really liked reading. Because of this I was quite pleased when I discovered that my brother had the book in his Roald Dahl box set.
The book is like most of Roald Dahl's offerings rather simple and easy to read. The story is rather vibrant and entertaining and the covers of the book can merely contain the colourful characters bursting to get out. The book itself was first published in 1981 and is not too long a read, coming in at 104 pages long in my copy, which is a Puffin edition, published in 2001. Despite saying that this book is 104 pages in length, not all of these pages contain writing and some contain only a minimal amount, as the story is accompanied by some superb sketches by Quentin Blake that lift the words off the page and bring the entire tale to life. They allow the adventure being depicted to take on its own life and give the characters the ability to walk right into your mind.
== So what is the story about? ==
George is a young boy who really isn't that fond of his grandma. In fact if we're honest he really, really dislikes her and her odd views about caterpillars being delicious and young boys growing too fast becoming stupid and lazy. Finally having enough of her one day when his parents are out George decides to get his own back and instead of feeding grandma her usual medicine he decides to concoct one of his own.
Clattering around in the kitchen, the bathroom, the shed and the animal house George throws everything imaginable into his marvellous medicine doing his very best to make certain that grandma won't notice the difference when she sees and tastes it. But what will the medicine do to her and what will his parents say when they find out about his marvellous medicine mixing morning?
== My Opinion ==
Like I said before the story is very simple and so can easily be understand by children as young as six or seven. The story at the same time however is engaging enough to keep much older children and adults entertained for it's duration. Like a lot of Dahl's books this one seems to cross the children, adult literature boundary. Now I don't mean by that, that contained within this innocent story is a complex sub-plot understood only by adults or that an adult reader takes away a wonderfully guiding message but merely that the simplicity and innocence of this marvellous tale has an appeal to both a child and adult reader.
I must say however that I was a little disappointed by the book because it someone lacked a certain spark that I had expected it to have. Although the story was written in the mad hatter Roald Dahl style I know so well it didn't seem to have the run-away imaginary power that some of his other books do. The story was good I'm not denying that and I'm sure young children will love the idea of sending granny sky high with a magic medicine but something about it all just didn't seem to be right for me.
Despite this however I would still recommend this book to Roald Dahl fans and those who are fans of children's literature in general. I would warn you however that I personally don't think this is one of Dahl's best offerings.
Another one of Roald Dahl's books, and this one is at least far less dark as a story. The reason for the sudden influx of Roald Dahl reviews is that I have recently been doing work experience with a school and the year 4 group are doing Roald Dahl at the moment.
Georges marvellous medicine centres around a boy named George who lives on a farm with his mother, father and grandmother. His grandmother is selfish, grumpy and in general a nasty person who expects everyone else to do all of the work around her. In typical child like fashion George reasons that if medicine can cure physical complaints, then why can't it cure someones temperament? So he sets about making his own marvellous medicine that will make his grandma not so difficult anymore. Personally, I feel that this is a brilliant idea, and wish it were true - imagine how much better the world were if there was a medicine you could give to selfish people.
But George's medicine is no normal medicine, it includes all sorts of things and from different areas of the house, for example you have hair remover, shaving soap, cow ointment, floor polish, flea powder,engine oil, anti-freeze, and brown paint to make it the same colour as the normal medicine his grandmother takes.
Amazingly, this medicine does not kill his grandmother, but instead makes her grow, and grow, and grow, until her head is poking out of the roof. And she is still moaning. His parents get back and is father is enamoured of the idea that this medicine could make his farm animals so much larger and better for selling. So they set about trying to make the same medicine again, which many failures...and some highly interesting results to grandmother.
This is a giggle out loud book, it's not as dark as many of Roald Dahl's books and many children will really enjoy it whether it is read to them or by them. It's also fun for the grown ups to read, and anyone will seriously enjoy it.
George lived on a farm miles away from anywhere so there were never any children to play with. He had the companion of pigs, hens, cows, sheep and... his grandmother.
George's grandmother was unlike other lovely, kind and helpful grandmothers. His was a 'complaining, grousing, grouching (and) grumbling' one and was extremely stubborn extremely. George hated her with all his might. But day after day, he had to give her her medicine, at eleven o'clock.
One day, whilst his parents was out, he developed a 'marvellous' plan. He would 'make her a new medicine, one that is so strong and so fierce and so fantastic it will either cure her completely or blow off the top of her head.' It was to be a magic medicine.
In it he was going to put EVERYTHING he could possibly find. He toured the house, going to the washroom, laundry-room and kitchen. He even ventured out into the shed in which there were medicines for the animals they owned on the farm.
Eventually, the 'medicine' is given to the grandma. And with the usual Roald Dahl touch, the ending is awesome!
I have enjoyed this story thoroughly. Roald Dahl continues with his magic touch in this story. I am constantly amazed for his vivid writing style and his technique in conveying gruesome details without the reader cringing.
I really liked how he had listed everything in the medicine and did it with the occasional witty line about the product that was going into the medicine.
When George's parents are away for the day, he's tempted to do something about his tyrannical grandmother. Something means going round the house collecting all kinds of horrible ingredients that will make up a magic potion to make her disappear. But instead of disappearing, she gets bigger.