George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

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.

George's Marvellous Medicine - Story SnugThe 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?

Age Range: 5 +

Author: Roald Dahl / Illustrator: Quentin Blake

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George’s Marvellous Medicine is the fourth book that we have read for the 2015 Classics Challenge.

30 thoughts on “George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

  1. Oh, I adore this book. However, I would say I personally struggle with reading this book with my kids. When I read it with my oldest, I kept interjecting, “Hey, you know mixing chemicals is actually quite dangerous.” “Hey, you know this is actually not safe.” (I am an industrial hygienist by day, and the plot of this book goes against my training. 😉 )

    • I love this book too but in the same way that you were worrying about chemicals I was thinking about animal cruelty and the fact that they experimented with so many hens! There is actually a disclaimer at the front of the book that tells children not to copy George as what he does is highly dangerous!

  2. Wow!!! This brings back lots of memories from when I was little! I loved this book! I have it here in my house somewhere, I must go and find it!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

    • It’s very funny. I have vague recollections from many of the stories but I’m not sure if I read the books, whether they were read to me at school or whether I have seen films. I’d like to read as many of them as possible now though 🙂

  3. How is it possible I don’t know this book?? I definitely have to get it 🙂 As for recommendations on another Dahl book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is fabulous for little children, and then you can make some of the delicious concoctions from the story from Dahl’s very own “Disgusting recipes” book! Both are also illustrated by Blake.

  4. Oh we are looking forward to reading this. We got 4 Dahl books on sale recently and I think we are almost about ready to read them. Thanks for reminding us, we will start with George’s Marvellous Medicine. Thanks for joining the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  5. My friends and I used to make medicine as in this book. I can’t recall we actually ever tasted it or indeed took it out of the container, but we really enjoyed mixing it! We’d gather all kinds of things from around the house and garden.

    • There is a disclaimer at the front of the book warning children that mixing their own medicines is dangerous so I made sure that I read that to my daughter first! I remember gathering all sorts of flowers from the garden and mixing them with various liquids to make ‘perfume’ when I was a child!

  6. I got Big Prince to read The BFG a few years ago (he’s 10 now) but he was never into reading much. Little Prince however, loves reading. He reads every day, sometimes two or three short books. He hasn’t started on the Roald Dahl books yet but they’re on his list. 🙂

  7. This book sounds absolutely delightful. I laughed just reading your description. We have read several book by Roald Dahl, but not this one. Thank you for the recommendation!

  8. I love George’s Marvellous Medicine! And what a wonderful blog! My favourite Roald Dahl’s were Matilda and Fantastic Mr Fox- both excellent films, particularly Fantastic Mr Fox.

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