I made it a goal this summer to read as many Roald Dahl books as I could get my hands on. My reading has been on the slow side lately, but I've still managed to squeeze in two super short ones.
First up, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Mr. Fox and his family are being hunted by 3 farmers. The farmers go to great lengths to kill the animals, and the animals go to great lengths to survive.
This has been my least favorite Dahl book, so far. I didn't hate it, but I think the resort to so many bodily functions just turned me against it. I've praised Dahl in the past for NOT resorting to such things for humor, and using his wonderful creativity to get laughs in other ways. I guess I was extra disappointed because I had higher expectations from him. It IS a cute story, if you look past the stealing(which Dahl manages to discuss within the story) and bodily humor(which really isn't overwhelming).
That said, apparently finding humor in bodily functions comes naturally for little boys. A few days ago, I overheard a "conversation" between Grasshopper and Firefly.
One: "How about a poo poo hot dog?" ((chuckle, giggle, laugh))
The other: "How about a poo poo sandwich?" ((chuckle, giggle, laugh))
Back and forth, back and forth, coming up with new "poo, poo" foods. :P
Next, George's Marvelous Medicine.
I really liked this one, but I felt guilty about it the whole time! Grandma gets called mean names by her son-in-law quite a bit. She WAS horrid, but I still felt guilty that she was disrespected. On the positive side, though, George IS pretty respectful throughout, despite the fact that he threw his grandma's medicine out and spends a great deal of time mixing up things that in real life would kill a person. :S I like that Dahl always manages to throw in some lessons for children within his stories, whether through discussion between characters or through his crazy poems.
I loved that within this little story, Dahl's ability to create "wonderful wierdness" comes out full force, with wacky things happening.
Both of these stories are short enough to be read alouds for my 3 and 5 year old, but I'm still undecided whether to use these sooner or later. For now, I'm waiting. I'm typically not one for abridging books, but I'm thinking of editing these just a bit, so I'm more comfortable using them as read alouds. That way, my little ones can enjoy the world of Dahl, and maybe get some extra laughs into our day, which I desperately need at the moment. ;)
*Thanks to my local library for lending me copies of both books to read!