'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 10 February 2014

Review: George's Marvellous Medicine

The archetypal crone is someone who features frequently in Dahl's children's books, and the 'witch' is a classic literary antithesis to the kindly grandmother who doles out cookies and kisses.

Alas, young George Kranky doesn't have the latter style of grandmother. His grandma is indeed a crusty old crone who makes life pretty miserable for the Kranky family.

When Mrs Kranky leaves the house to go shopping, she reminds her son to be sure to give Grandma her medicine--on the dot of 11 o'clock. But after one too many snide asides, George is left wondering if perhaps old granny needs another sort of medicine.
Conceiving a Marvellous Pan, George gathers up a large pot and begins filling it with all manner of deadly and decadent ingredients--from the bathroom, the kitchen, the outdoor shed.

Ingredients include shampoo, face cream, hair remover and a waft of hairspray. Washing powder, floor polish, flea powder and canary seed. Curry powder, mustard powder, peppercorn and horseradish. Horse pills, sheep dip, anti-freeze and engine oil. And of course, brown paint to make it look medicine-y.

Cooked up on a stove top until it's bubbling and gaseous, George carefully decants the medicine into his grandmother's bottle and--right on the dot of eleven--feeds her a full spoonful.

What happens next is classic Dahl magic--so I won't spoil the surprise! But needless to say the comeuppance factor is high, and the granny-harangued family and their farm also benefit enormously from George's marvellous creation.


Title: George's Marvellous Medicine
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Puffin, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
For ages: 8-12
Type: Junior Fiction