‘Not far from where I live there is a queer old house standing all by itself on the side of the road. I long to explore inside but the door is always locked, and when I peer inside all I can see is darkness and dust.’
Billy’s biggest wish is to turn a weird old wooden house into a wonderful sweet-shop. But then he finds a giraffe, a pelly and a monkey living inside – they’re the Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company! Who needs ladders when you’ve got a giraffe? They become best friends and when they meet the richest man in all of England, there’s a chance that Billy’s scrumptious-galumptious dream just might come true . .
What I thought:
This was one of my childhood favourites so I was slightly worried going back to it again so I was glad when it stood up to the reread. It’s a short story at only 73 pages with at least half of them having some form of brilliant illustration by Quentin Blake. As a short story it has to follow certain rules as there is not enough time to go into depth or add any subplots; meet and get to know the protagonists, set up the problem, and deal with the problem, (or beginning, middle, end). Dahl does this using his normal abnormal way. His use of language and the how fun it can be stands out here because of the length. In a short story each word is important and Dahl clearly enjoys playing with words and making up his own. Even in 70 pages each character is distinct from the others, the Giraffe is clearly more feminine and gentle whilst the Pelly is brave and will take risks and the monkey just enjoys having fun.
Why I read it:
As you might have noticed I was on a Dahl binge reading one every other book. It’s a good way to get through them.
This is a masterclass in how to write fun short stories for kids.
Would I recommend: Dur!
Popsugar: Borrowed/given as a gift (the library is a brilliant thing!), animal in the title.
Read Harder: One sitting.
I really don’t know what else to say about this book, sorry. There’s only one more Roald Dahl book left in my binge.
Please leave a comment, it would really mean a lot and I’ve love to know what you think.
Ta Ta for now
My next book is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Ademeyi