Age Range: 5 +
We read The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me in one sitting, the pace, the humour and the originality of the story kept us turning the pages until the end. A cast of colourful characters, a burglar and an amazing sweetshop feature in this amusing adventure.
The Story: Billy, a young boy, notices that an old shop is being renovated, its new sign advertises The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company. As The Giraffe, the Pelican (Pelly) and the Monkey introduce themselves to Billy, the Duke of Hampshire’s chauffeur hires them to clean the windows of Hampshire Hall. After introducing themselves to the Duke the animals start cleaning but then they discover that somebody is up to no good…
This is such a madcap story that we really don’t want to spoil the ending for you. Suffice it to say that The Giraffe and the Pelly and The Monkey are handsomely rewarded for their part in the adventure as is Billy whose dream comes true at the end of the story.
The Giraffe, the Pelican and the Monkey make a great window cleaning team! The Giraffe is the ladder, the Pelican carries the water in his beak and the Monkey climbs up the Giraffe’s neck to do the cleaning. The Giraffe’s neck and the Pelican’s beak have original and distinctive features that enable them to work effectively and no window is too high up for them to reach. The Duke is extremely impressed by their work, his windows haven’t been clean for forty years!
Roald Dahl has taken a familiar situation and added humorous twists and wonderful language to this story. We love the sound of the tinkle-tinkle trees that Giraffe likes to eat and there are some amazing sounding sweets – Pishlets, Spitsizzlers, Plushnuggets, Stickjaws and Giant Wangdoodles to name but a few – even Willy Wonka gets a mention in the book! Short songs and rhymes intersperse the text as the animals explain their trade and we couldn’t help joining in with the Duchess’ diamonds song. Quentin Blake’s trademark illustrations add to the humour, we particularly like the illustration where everybody is singing with the Duchess and the picture of the children who have eaten Fizzcocklers made my daughter laugh.
Now my daughter is asking for another Roald Dahl story. Which one should we read next?