Top positive review
Good intro to Roald Dahl
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2015
I read Roald Dahl books to my elementary school special education students. It's a great way to get language and storytelling in a way that is appealing to kids, especially kids who can't access books like this on their own. I have a youngish group this year, so I started with Roald Dahl's shorter books. This is a good introduction to how Roald Dahl stories work. We read it after The Enormous Crocodile and The Twits. I'd recommend those other two over this one. When I'm reading Roald Dahl books, there are occasionally parts that I have to censor or change a bit. (Usually for "comedic" racism.) For this book, I was a little concerned about the strong anti-hunting message, but I think it depends on how you teach it. We talked about how the character of Sophie hates hunting, rather than why the Gregg family is bad for hunting. One character's perspective doesn't have to be a moral truth. The constant guns did make me a little uncomfortable, since talking about guns in schools is a big no-no, but the kids didn't focus on that part at all. We'll read Matilda later on in the year, and this clearly an early version of that story. Matilda should be easier to understand having read this book first.