Age Range: 5+
Our daughter giggled her way through George’s Marvellous Medicine which we read in a day as we enjoyed it so much. She’s now telling anybody who will listen about what happened to Grandma when she took the medicine and insisted that we recommend the book on Story Snug.
The Story: George is left alone with grumpy Grandma who needs to be given her medicine at 11 o’clock. Grandma is so mean to George that he decides to make a medicine which will make her explode. He mixes the contents of the bathroom cabinets, animal medicines and other household liquids and heats it up. The medicine causes Grandma to grow so tall that her head comes out of the roof! George gives the medicine to a hen who also grows. George’s father, Mr Killy Kranky, is so impressed by the medicine that he gives it to all his farm animals to make them grow. Next day George and Mr Killy Kranky try to recreate the medicine so they can patent it but the medicines all have different effects on the hens that they give it to. The final medicine, George’s Marvellous Medicine Number Four, has disastrous consequences for Grandma!
Grandma is such a nasty old lady that George wonders if she is a witch. She winds George up with her stories about eating bugs and caterpillars and tells him that he needs to stop growing or he’ll become stupid and lazy. Roald Dahl’s first chapter portrays Grandma as so mean and venomous that it’s no surprise that George hates her so much. However, we also see Grandma as a humorous figure and my daughter finds it hilarious when the medicine causes her to grow out of the house, unfortunately it doesn’t have any positive effects on her personality!
The humour continues throughout the story and the text is accompanied by Quentin Blake’s wonderfully amusing illustrations. We alternatively laughed and said “Yuck” when we read all the medicine ingredients and it must have been a very big saucepan to hold them all! The effects of the medicine are truly amazing and the scene where Grandma first takes it is very funny (although we did feel a teeny bit sorry for her when she caught fire!). My daughter laughed when they needed a crane to get her out of the house and we guessed that drinking a whole cup of George’s Marvellous Medicine Number Four would be Grandma’s downfall!
George’s Marvellous Medicine is the first Roald Dahl book that we have read together. We’re now contemplating which one to read next. Do you have any suggestions?
George’s Marvellous Medicine is the fourth book that we have read for the 2015 Classics Challenge.