Roald Dahl books and the accompanying illustrations of Quentin Blake don’t need much of an introduction as they have been part of most people’s reading at some point or other either as a child or to your own children. George’s Marvellous Medicine is one such book. I remember quite well being 7 years old and having this story read to my classmates and I by a very enthusiastic young student teacher.
The story is about a young boy who lives on a farm with his mum, Dad and his Grandma. His Grandma is not the cuddly rosy checked Grandma that bakes cookies and knits thick woolly jumpers. No George’s Grandma would not be described like that at all. She was instead a grumpy little old woman who didn’t like people, wasn’t interested in playing board games and never smiled. She spent her time sitting by the window grumbling and complaining.
His Grandma doesn’t seem to like children and George is no exception. One day she says some truly scary things to George whilst he is alone with her “some of us have magic powers that can twist the creatures of this earth into wondrous shapes”… “some of us have fire on our tongues and sparks in the tips of our fingers”. “Some of us know secrets that would make your hair stand on end and your eyes pop out of their sockets”. “We know how to make your nails drop off and teeth grow out of your finger nails instead”.
To this George come up with a plan to replace the medicine given to Grandma 4 times a day with his own concoction which has some fantastic results. I won’t say more on that as for those of you who either haven’t yet enjoyed this book or perhaps you can’t remember it from your childhood you will be fascinated and surprised at the extraordinary results of George’s truly marvellous medicine.
The edition we have was published in 2001 by Puffin Books however it was first published 35 years ago in 1981!
Monkey enjoyed this story more than some previous stories. I read this to him just before his 7th birthday which seemed the right sort of age onwards to enjoy this story.
Monkey particularly enjoyed the parts of the story that focuses on the ingredients used for the medicine (as they are quite unusual) and also enjoyed what happened to those who have the medicine.
There’s many extensions you could do after reading this story such as make your own potion with water and food colouring, write your own marvellous recipe, or bake some cookies like we did adapting the recipe but adding extra chocolates chips and marshmallows (delicious)! There’s also some great activities I found via Pinterest just search George’s Marvellous Medicine activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this as I had forgotten some parts of the story and looked forward to the bedtime story as much as Monkey did which is the best sort of bedtime story to have.
Monkey gave this story 10/10 and I also give it 10/10. Superb writing a true children’s classic which is still enjoyable to adults.