Roald Dahl 100th Celebration: George’s Marvelous Medicine

roald-dahl-100Today, we are beyond thrilled t be helping celebrate what would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday on September 13th.

Earlier this year, the folks at Penguin Young Readers/Puffin released 15 newly redesigned paperback covers in honor of Roald Dahl 100, their year-long celebration of the author most of us have had some interaction with as readers. Whether we could relate to Matilda and her love of books, or wishing for a Golden Ticket to the chocolate factory, Roald Dahl’s books changed young lives.

georges-marvelous-medicineThe first Roald Dahl book I ever read was George’s Marvelous Medicine, and it was given to me by one of my teachers. I was hooked from the very beginning, and soon embarked on a childhood binge read of every Roald Dahl book I could get my hands on: James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Matilda, and so on.

But it was George’s Marvelous Medicine that I always had a soft spot for. Maybe it was the idea of George concocting a cure for his cantankerous old grandma. Maybe it was the fact that I could devour an entire book in a single setting, even at such a young age. Maybe it was the illustrations by Quentin Blake that helped bring the story to life. Maybe it was the fact that it introduced me to one of my first favorite authors.

Maybe it was all of the above.

The impact of George’s Marvelous Medicine has long stayed with me, so when Penguin invited me to be part of the Roald Dahl 100 Celebratory Blog Tour, and asked what my first choice of Roald Dahl book to feature would be, I immediately thought of George.

Which brings us to today, with an excerpt from George’s Marvelous Medicine — plus, keep reading for your chance to win a set of ALL 15 newly redesigned Roald Dahl paperbacks, plus a Roald Dahl tote bag.



“I’m going shopping in the village,” George’s mother said to George on Saturday morning. “So be a good boy and don’t get into mischief.”

This was a silly thing to say to a small boy at any time. It immediately made him wonder what sort of mischief he might get into.

“And don’t forget to give Grandma her medicine at eleven o’clock,” the mother said. Then out she went, closing the back door behind her.

Grandma, who was dozing in her chair by the window, opened one wicked little eye and said, “Now you heard what your mother said, George. Don’t forget my medicine.”

“No, Grandma,” George said.

“And just try to behave yourself for once while she’s away.”

“Yes, Grandma,” George said.

George was bored to tears. He didn’t have a brother or a sister. His father was a farmer, and the farm they lived on was miles away from anywhere, so there were never any children to play with. He was tired of staring at pigs and hens and cows and sheep. He was especially tired of having to live in the same house as that grizzly old grunion of a grandma. Looking after her all by himself was hardly the most exciting way to spend a Saturday morning.

“You can make me a nice cup of tea for a start,” Grandma said to George. “That’ll keep you out of mischief for a few minutes.”

“Yes, Grandma,” George said.

George couldn’t help disliking Grandma. She was a selfish grumpy old woman. She had pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog’s bottom.

“How much sugar in your tea today, Grandma?” George asked her.

“One spoonful,” she said. “And no milk.”

Most grandmothers are lovely, kind, helpful old ladies, but not this one. She spent all day and every day sitting in her chair by the window, and she was always complaining, grousing, grouching, grumbling, griping about something or other. Never once, even on her best days, had she smiled at George and said, “Well, how are you this morning, George?” or, “Why don’t you and I have a game of Snakes and Ladders?” or, “How was school today?” She didn’t seem to care about other people, only about herself. She was a miserable old grouch.

George went into the kitchen and made Grandma a cup of tea with a teabag. He put one spoon of sugar in it and no milk. He stirred the sugar well and carried the cup into the living room.

Grandma sipped the tea. “It’s not sweet enough,” she said. “Put more sugar in it.”

George took the cup back to the kitchen and added another spoonful of sugar. He stirred it again and carried it carefully in to Grandma.

“Where’s the saucer?” she said. “I won’t have a cup without a saucer.”

George fetched her a saucer.

“And what about a teaspoon, if you please?”

“I’ve stirred it for you, Grandma. I stirred it well.”

“I’ll stir my own tea, thank you very much,” she said. “Fetch me a teaspoon.”

When George’s mother or father was home, Grandma never ordered George about like this. It was only when she had him on her own that she began treating him badly.

“You know what’s the matter with you?” the old woman said, staring at George over the rim of the teacup with those wicked little eyes. “You’re growing too fast. Boys who grow too fast become stupid and lazy.”

“But I can’t help it if I’m growing fast, Grandma,” George said.

“Of course you can,” she snapped. “Growing’s a nasty childish habit.”

“But we have to grow, Grandma. If we didn’t grow, we’d never be grown-ups.”

“Rubbish, boy, rubbish,” she said. “Look at me. Am I growing? Certainly not.”

“But you did once, Grandma.”

“Only very little,” the old woman answered. “I gave up growing when I was extremely small, along with all the other nasty childish habits like laziness and disobedience and greed and sloppiness and untidiness and stupidity. You haven’t given up on any of these things, have you?”

“I’m still only a little boy, Grandma.”

“You’re eight years old,” she snorted. “That’s old enough to know better. If you don’t stop growing soon, it’ll be too late.”

“Too late for what, Grandma?”

“It’s ridiculous,” she went on. “You’re nearly as tall as me already.”

George took a good look at Grandma. She certainly was a very tiny person. Her legs were so short she had to have a footstool to put her feet on, and her head only came halfway up the back of the armchair.

“Daddy says it’s fine for a man to be tall,” George said.

“Don’t listen to your daddy,” Grandma said. “Listen to me.”

“But how do I stop myself growing?” George asked her.

“Eat less chocolate,” Grandma said.

“Does chocolate make you grow?”

“It makes you grow the wrong way,” she snapped. “Up instead of down.”

Grandma sipped some tea but never took her eyes from the little boy who stood before her. “Never grow up,” she said. “Always down.”

“Yes, Grandma.”

“And stop eating chocolate. Eat cabbage instead.”

“Cabbage! Oh, no, I don’t like cabbage,” George said.

“It’s not what you like or what you don’t like,” Grandma snapped. “It’s what’s good for you that counts. From now on, you must eat cabbage three times a day. Mountains of cabbage! And if it’s got caterpillars in it, so much the better!”

“Ouch,” George said.

“Caterpillars give you brains,” the old woman said.

“Mummy washes them down the sink,” George said.

“Mummy’s as stupid as you are,” Grandma said. “Cabbage doesn’t taste of anything without a few boiled caterpillars in it. Slugs, too.”

“Not slugs” George cried out. “I couldn’t eat slugs!”

“Whenever I see a live slug on a piece of lettuce,” Grandma said, “I gobble it up quick before it crawls away. Delicious.” She squeezed her lips together tight so that her mouth became a tiny wrinkled hole. “Delicious,” she said again. “Worms and slugs and beetley bugs. You don’t know what’s good for you.”

“You’re joking, Grandma.”

“I never joke,” she said. “Beetles are perhaps best of all. They go crunch!”

“Grandma! That’s beastly!”

The old hag grinned, showing those pale brown teeth. “Sometimes, if you’re lucky,” she said, “you get a beetle inside the stem of a stick of celery. That’s what I like.”

“Grandma! How could you?”

“You find all sorts of nice things in sticks of raw celery,” the old woman went on. “Sometimes it’s earwigs.”

“I don’t want to hear about it!” cried George.”

“A big fat earwig is very tasty,” Grandma said, licking her lips. “But you’ve got to be very quick, my dear, when you put one of those in your mouth. It has a pair of sharp nippers on its back end and if it grabs your tongue with those, it never lets go. So you’ve got to bite the earwig first, chop chop, before it bites you.”

George started edging towards the door. He wanted to get as far away as possible from this filthy old woman.

“You’re trying to get away from me, aren’t you?” she said, pointing a finger straight at George’s face. “You’re trying to get away from Grandma.”

Little George stood by the door staring at the old hag in the chair. She stared back at him.

Could it be, George wondered, that she was a witch? He had always thought witches were only in fairy tales, but now he was not so sure.

“Come closer to me, little boy,” she said, beckoning to him with a horny finger. “Come closer to me and I will tell you secrets.”

George didn’t move.

Grandma didn’t move either.

“I know a great many secrets,” she said, and suddenly she smiled. It was a thin icy smile, the kind a snake might make just before it bites you. “Come over here to Grandma and she’ll whisper secrets to you.”

George took a step backward, edging closer to the door.

“You mustn’t be frightened of your old grandma,” she said, smiling that icy smile.

George took another step backward.

“Some of us,” she said, and all at once she was leaning forward in her chair and whispering in a throaty sort of voice George had never heard her use before. “Some of us,” she said, “have magic powers that can twist the creatures of this earth into wondrous shapes. . . .”

A tingle of electricity flashed down the length of George’s spine. He began to feel frightened.

“Some of us,” the old woman went on, “have fire on our tongues and sparks in our bellies and wizardry in the tips of our fingers. . . .”

“Some of us know secrets that would make your hair stand straight up on end and your eyes pop out of their sockets. . . . “

George wanted to run away, but his feet seemed stuck to the floor.

“We know how to make your nails drop off and teeth grow out of your fingers instead.”

George began to tremble. It was her face that frightened him most of all, the frosty smile, the brilliant unblinking eyes.

“We know how to have you wake up in the morning with a long tail coming out from behind you.”

“Grandma!” he cried out. “Stop!”

“We know secrets, my dear, about dark places where dark things live and squirm and slither all over each other. . . .”

George made a dive for the door.

“It doesn’t matter how far you run,” he heard her saying, “you won’t ever get away. . . .”

George ran into the kitchen, slamming the door behind him.

Copyright © Roald Dahl, reprinted with permission from Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House


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about-the-authorroald-photo-official-photo-jpegRoald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. In 1951, Roald Dahl met his future wife, the American actress Patricia Neal, who starred in films including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Hud, for which she won an Oscar. After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 and wrote two of his best-known novels, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the U.S.

In September 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published initially in the U.S. with the U.K. following a few years later. It would go on to become one of the most famous and best-known of Roald’s stories. The idea for the story grew out of his own well-documented love of chocolate and his school-day memories of acting as a taster for a famous chocolate factory. These first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and have sold more than 200 million books. With more than 40 million Roald Dahl books in print in the U.S. alone, Dahl is considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time and his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

For more information please visit

about-the-bookHere’s more about all 15 of Roald Dahl’s beloved books:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Boy: Tales of Childhood
Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury’s? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Now that he’s won the chocolate factory, what’s next for Charlie? Last seen flying through the sky in a giant elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket’s back for another adventure. When the giant elevator picks up speed, Charlie, Willy Wonka, and the gang are sent hurtling through space and time. Visiting the world’s first space hotel, battling the dreaded Vermicious Knids, and saving the world are only a few stops along this remarkable, intergalactic joyride.

Danny the Champion of the World
Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world.

Esio Trot
Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else—Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver’s attention. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.

Esio Trot was a favourite of Roald’s principal illustrator Quentin Blake and in 2013 a new audio version of the story was released – with Quentin as the narrator.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything—except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.

This is the book that features one of Roald Dahl’s most famous quotes: “…if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it.

Matilda won the Children’s Book Award shortly after it was published in 1988.

Roald Dahl’s beloved novel of a young girl and a benevolent giant known as the BFG who set out on an adventure to capture evil, man-eating giants hits the big screen this July in a major motion picture adaptation from Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Studios!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

The BFG won the Federation of Children’s Book Groups Award in 1982. In 1989 it was turned into an animated film featuring the voice of David Jason. More than 30 years later, The BFGremains a much-loved character. And of all his stories, Roald Dahl said that The BFG was probably his own favorite.

The Witches
This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself.

In 1983, the year it was published, The Witches won three awards: The New York Times Outstanding Books Award, The Federation of Children’s Book Groups Award and The Whitbread Award.

James and the Giant Peach
After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house.

Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

The Twits
Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything—except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.

This is the book that features one of Roald Dahl’s most famous quotes: “…if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

George’s Marvelous Medicine
George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything.

And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

The Magic Finger
What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted? To the Gregg family, hunting is just plain fun. To the girl who lives next door, it’s just plain horrible. She tries to be polite. She tries to talk them out of it, but the Greggs only laugh at her. Then one day the Greggs go too far, and the little girl turns her Magic Finger on them.

When she’s very, very angry, the little girl’s Magic Finger takes over. She really can’t control it, and now it’s turned the Greggs into birds! Before they know it, the Greggs are living in a nest, and that’s just the beginning of their problems.

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Who needs a ladder when you’ve got a giraffe with an extended neck? The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success.

Now they have their big break—a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

Going Solo
Going Solo is the action-packed tale of Roald Dahl’s exploits as a World War II pilot. Learn all about his encounters with the enemy, his worldwide travels, the life-threatening injuries he sustained in a plane accident, and the rest of his sometimes bizarre, often unnerving, and always colorful adventures.

Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Roald Dahl one of the world’s best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this fascinating man.


September 5 – Peace Loves Books – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Excerpt
September 5 – The Compulsive Reader – Danny, The Champion of the World Review
September 5 – The Starry Eyed Revue – James and The Giant Peach Review
September 6 – Ex Libris Kate – The Witches Review
September 6 – Lost In Lit – The Witches Feature – Revisiting The Witches as an adult
September 7 – Cozy Reading Corner – Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Excerpt
September 7 – The Plot Bunny – The Magic Finger Review
September 7 – Lilli’s Reflections – The Twits Excerpt
September 8 – The Irish Banana – Matilda Review
September 8 – Ticket To Anywhere – Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 8 – Cuddlebuggery – Quentin Blake’s Illustrations of Roald Dahl’s Books Feature
September 8 – Beth Fish Reads – Going Solo Review
September 9 –  Ravenous Reader  The BFG Excerpt
September 9 – Paper Cuts  The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me Excerpt
September 9 – The Lovely Books – The Witches Excerpt
September 9 – A Glass of Wine – James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 10 – Novel Novice – George’s Marvelous Medicine Excerpt
September 10 – YA Bibliophile – Fantastic Mr. Fox Review
September 10 – Watercolor Moods – The Magic Finger Feature – Collage
September 10 – Cracking The Cover – The Magic Finger Feature – Short Review and History
September 11- Jessabella Reads – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review
September 11- Who R U Blog – Charlie and the Glass Elevator Feature – Trivia
September 12 – Belle of the Library – The Twits Review
September 12 – Book Mania Life – George’s Marvelous Medicine Review
September 12 – The Book Swarm – Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 12 – Book Belles – James and the Giant Peach Feature – Book to Movie
September 12 –  Alexa Loves Books – Matilda Feature – Style Files
September 13- Roald’s birthday! – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Matilda Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday! – Mundie Kids  The BFG Review
September 13 – Roald’s birthday! – Read Now Sleep Later – Boy Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday – Consumed By Books – Matilda Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday – I Am A Reader – James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 13 – The Novel Life – Lessons that Roald Dahl has taught me feature
September 13 – The Book Rat – Esio Trot Excerpt
September 14 – Belle’s Bash – The BFG Excerpt
September 14 – WinterHaven Books – Esio Trot Excerpt
September 14 – A Book and A Latte – The Magic Finger Excerpt
September 14 – Hello Chelly – Matilda Feature – BookBags
September 14 – Loving Dem Books – Youtube Feature
September 15 – Writing My Own Fairy-Tale – George’s Marvelous Medicine Review
September 15 – The Book Bandit -The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me Review
September 15 – Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile – Esio Trot Review
September 15 – Coffee, Books and Me – Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Roald Dahl’s Books
September 16 – Undeniably Book Nerdy – Boy Review
September 16 – Supernatural Snark – James and the Giant Peach Review
September 16 – My Friend Amy – Going Solo Excerpt
September 16 – The Quiet Concert  Danny, the Champion of the World Review
September 17 – Book Briefs – Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
September 17 – Andi’s ABCs – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Feature – ABCs
September 17 – Just Another Rabid Reader – The Magic Finger Review
September 17 – Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia – Roald Dahl Feature – Food Feature
September 18 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Matilda Feature – Reading With Dad
September 18 – Addicted 2 Novels – Esio Trot Review
September 18 – Pure Imagination – Fantastic Mr. Fox Excerpt
September 18 – Green Bean Teen Queen – What Roald Dahl Means To Me Feature
September 19 – Bookiemoji  The Witches Excerpt
September 19 – Shooting Stars Blog – Roald Dahl Feature – Etsy Products
September 19 – Nightly Reading – Matilda Review






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