The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl Review

Illustrated by Quentin Blake


Stories for children should be lots of fun and very engaging. One author that was a master of fun and engaging children’s books, whose books are still being read today, was the master storyteller, Roald Dahl. His books always delight the reader and leaves them smiling and happy. And children have lots of his titles to choose from. If you are looking for a delightful and whimsical story for your children to read, or to read with them, then look no further than Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (first published in 1985).

This book is a classic tale of friendship, adventure and dreams coming true. It features a young boy named Billy, a giraffe with an incredible magical neck, a pelican with a retractable beak and a very agile monkey. Together, this motley crew of friends form a new business in an old abandoned sweet shop – The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company.

Billy has come across an old abandoned sweet shop in town, once called The Grubber, Billy dreams of running his own sweet shop one day. But there are big changes taking place. The old front door has been replaced with a door three times the size. The furniture has all been thrown out and the window and some new occupants move in. Billy is hoping for a new sweet shop, but the sign has been changed and is now reads The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company – get your windows cleaned without a dirty ladder leaning against your house. The new business owners are a giraffe, a pelican and a monkey! Giraffe has a neck that extends to magical lengths and is the “ladder”, Pelly has a retractable upper beak which leaves the bottom part to be filled with water so he is the “bucket” and the very agile money easily climbs Giraffe’s neck to reach new heights and is the window-cleaner.

Whilst Billy is outside trying to see into the new business, the windows open and out pop the animals who he becomes friends with.

The three animal friends have spent all their money on the new premises and are in need of some jobs to do as they haven’t eaten in days and are starving. As Billy and his new friends are talking, a chauffeur driven car belonging to the richest man in England – the Duke of Hampshire pulls up. The Duke is looking for a good window-cleaner and asks them to come and see him. Billy offers to show them the way and off they go, with Billy sitting in Pelly’s magical retractable beak.

When they reach the Duke’s mansion, the fun really begins. They help pick cherries for him, start to clean the highest of windows, catch a fearsome, infamous cat burglar, and get offered everything of their dreams, including the opening of a brand new sweet shop!

Overall, this is a fantastic fun story that makes excellent reading. Packed with Dahl’s signature humour, imagination and wordplay (including words from his own Gobblefunk language). And to accompany the wonderful text are the excellent illustrations by Quentin Blake that bring the characters and this fun tale to life.

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me is a tale of friendship and dreams, told in a unique and fun way. It is a story full of surprises, twists and turns and extendable necks, magical beaks and a window-cleaning monkey that will keep readers hooked until the end. Readers will gasp and laugh along the way and will be left with a big smile on their faces. A delightful tale of fantasy and fun.

The story is interlaced with some great rhyming songs that are exciting and funny to read.

Whilst this is a children’s book, suitable for children aged 5+, it is such a charming and entertaining fun tale that adult readers will take just as much enjoyment from it. A must-read for anyone who appreciates the genius of Roald Dahl.

A fun and entertaining adventurous short story with talking window-cleaning animals, cat burglars, a fainting Duchess and an incredible sweet shop with sweets such as Frothblowers and Plushnuggets and sweets from the most famous sweet factory in the world, Wonka’s.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £7.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

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