Sometimes once I’ve finished a particularly busy day at work followed by a bustling commute home the last thing I want to do is sit and read something intense. This may seem like a contradiction to my last post in which I gushed about my new love of non-fiction and my curious nature, but last Thursday all I wanted to do was cosy up in bed with a super easy read.
Luckily last year during all the Roald Dahl festivities for his 100th birthday I bought Esio Trot. So I settled down in bed, put on my ‘cinematic chill’ playlist and went back in time.
The important information:
- Number of pages: 57 pages
- Price: £5.99. Again I got mine online for £3.00
- Genre: Childrens Fiction
- Time to read: Half an hour
Like most people when asked what my favourite Roald Dahl story is Esio Trot wasn’t the first that sprang to my mind. This isn’t a reflection on how good Esio Trot is, or isn’t, it is simply because when I was younger a friendly giant that takes a young girl on an adventure, or a girl that takes on a horrible teacher through her magic powers appealed to me more than a sweet love story between two middle aged neighbours.
Esio Trot follows Mr Hoppy’s endeavours to make Mrs Silver happy by making it look like her wish for her little tortoise Alfie to grow is coming true. Mr Hoppy buys all the tortoises he can, gives Mrs Silver a funny back to front poem to read to Alfie and swaps Alfie over with bigger tortoises.
From the minute I sat down and glanced at the front cover I felt cosy. Quentin Blake illustrations were in a lot of books I read when I was a child and I genuinely think I was smiling the whole way through this book. I hadn’t remembered the funny little rhyme Mrs Silver read to Alfie. I hadn’t remembered the lovely relationship that blossoms between Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver. I hadn’t remembered the happy ending for the two main characters as they got married and enjoyed their lives together along with Alfie. It was genuinely like reading it for the first time all over again and I loved it more than ever had.
In some way I felt a little silly reading this (and even sillier trying to review it)as it isn’t a book meant for adults however Roald Dahl was known being a little silly and excelled in making children feel a little bit better about their lives through his stories. Allowing children to escape their everyday worries, even for half an hour, is a great skill to have and I remember the BFG doing this for me when I was younger. But why did such a small children’s story help me escape the worries of life as an adult…
Perhaps now that I am older I have realised that a friendly giant isn’t going to whisk me away on an adventure. Or that I won’t learn I have a super secret magic power that can be used to take on that horrible teacher at school. Now I can relate more to a sweet love story involving a plethora of tortoises as that maybe (hopefully) could still happen to me?!
So if you were to now ask me for my favourite Roald Dahl story I would say…well I would still say the BFG as I forever want to be whisked away to the world of snozzcumbers and dream jars. But a very close second would be Esio Trot as it is simply a delightfully sweet story.
5 out of 5 lettuce leaves.
(Also did you get the pun in the title?!)