Is it just us or is Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator awful?

(27 Posts)
BirdyBedtime Mon 08-Apr-13 15:50:22

DD (P3) has been working through Roald Dhal books this year - I didn't read any of these as a child so have really been enjoying them (Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, CATCF). But now she has CATGGE - and it's awful! We've read 6 chapters and we hate it. DD is finding some of it really tricky - mainly because it's either very un-pc or un-funny jokes. Is it just us? They read about 3 or 4 chapters a week so we're going to be stuck with it for weeks yet. I'm dreading reading time - any ideas to get through it and more importantly not let it put DD off?

Molehillmountain Wed 10-Apr-13 19:46:24

I'm embarrassed to say dd and I have given up on it. The Phantom Tollbooth is proving far more fun.

BirdyBedtime Wed 10-Apr-13 16:59:35

They do seem to be a bit fixed on RD at the school. They started after Christmas with Fantastic Mr Fox, then The Twits, CATCF and now GGE as reading books, they've done Danny and George's Marvellous Medicine as class books and DD is reading Matilda in ERIC (?) time. I agree that there are many other genres and authors they could explore but as it's a multi-class (4) year they do shared planning and AFAIK P3 is RD year!!

willyoulistentome Tue 09-Apr-13 22:40:01

Ds2 is jn y3 and has been doing r dahl at school. I agree catgge is a massive let down as a sequel to the choc factory. Its almost ss if it should be TWO stories. The space station, vermicious knids story and s separate story with the youth/aging thing. We loved Matilda and Georges marvellous medicine though. Not got to danny yet.

DownyEmerald Tue 09-Apr-13 22:30:34

Read this recently to DD - vermicious knids such a iconic thing to dp and me felt she had to know what they were about! Though I think we just like saying the words out loud!

But oh dear, I edited loads which I don't like doing, cos you can't relax into it. It has really dated badly, and lots of things over dd's head. We won't be re-reading.

I adore Danny - but dd doesn't like it because the mum is dead. I'm hoping she'll grow into it.

I do actually find it a bit weird that Dahl is so popular. As a child I liked Danny and FMF, but always felt a strange atmosphere around the others. And not a happy one. I'm probably not describing it very well.

AvrilPoisson Tue 09-Apr-13 20:34:36

I hated this one as a child, and funnily enough my DD gave up about 4 chapters in too.
We love Danny in this house though, even the 3yo is enthralled.

Esio Trot is fabulous isn't it? We have the audio book, and I put it on for a long journey, and was just waiting for the nasty twist... and there wasn't one! grin

MiaowTheCat Tue 09-Apr-13 19:55:49

The vermicious knids (think that's what they're called) scared me shitless as a kid.

FeijoaVodkaAndCheezels Tue 09-Apr-13 11:08:54

I'm in the middle of reading Great Glass Elevator to my DS and I have to say it isn't holding his attention at all. He is only just 5 so a bit young for most Dahl books, but the ones we have read so far have really caught his attention and imagination.

GGE has far to much dialogue I've found. Thankfully after chapter six most of the chapters are much shorter.

We did persevere with catgge, the last 3rd is quite amusing - when they get back to the factory - but it isn't a patch on catcf and so disappointing.

We really struggled with James and the giant peach too, think I'll get Matilda to try as I loved that when I was younger.

GooseyLoosey Tue 09-Apr-13 10:57:53

Another voice for the GGE illustrating that even Dahl's fantastic imagination had days off. Think it would have been (slightly) better if it was not a sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because that just adds to the sense of disappointment.

mum2jakie Tue 09-Apr-13 10:54:23

I didn't like that one. Or Danny Champion of the World.

DeepRedBetty Tue 09-Apr-13 10:50:34

Danny is one of my favourites but doesn't really get going until later on.

And agree, Charlie and the Elevator is proof that even the greatest artists can have a Bad Day.

Periwinkle007 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:47:25

I also think if a book isn't interesting a child or they aren't enjoying it then persevere for a bit but if they still aren't keen then move on to something else. obviously as a school book thats more difficult

Periwinkle007 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:45:24

not a great choice IMO as a school book I don't think but then I didn't enjoy it either.

Are the whole class working through all the Roald Dahl books then? I remember loving some but hating others and they are quite a set sense of humour, not sure how to say what I want to but whilst many of them appeal to lots of children there are plenty of children who just don't find them that great.

great idea to use it to discuss what she likes and doesn't like. and personally if the whole year is spent working through Roald Dahl books I think I might be having a word with the teacher that a bit of variety of authors/styles might be nice. Otherwise reading x number of chapters of that a week is eating into time she could be spending reading books she would enjoy more.

Euphemia Tue 09-Apr-13 08:29:02

I think we'll use it as suggested for a chat about what makes a story she likes and what makes one she doesn't like.

That's a great idea - being able to give opinions about texts, and to give evidence from the text, is part of the curriculum.

simpson Mon 08-Apr-13 23:40:41

DD hated Fantastic Mr Fox (DS loved it) so we stopped. She loved The Magic Finger, The Twits and is loving Esio Trot ( her reading it to me) and Matilda (me reading it to her).

Wellthen Mon 08-Apr-13 23:29:08

There is quite a bit of back story in Danny before you get to the main story arc. So yes, I guess in a way it does get better. The witches is very similar to Danny in the story telling style. Matilda is faster moving if you find Danny boring.

I think its important to teach children that their opinion is just as important. If they find a book dull, dont read it!

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 08-Apr-13 22:20:04

LOVE danny, but have never made it through more than a couple of chapters of GGE.

BirdyBedtime Mon 08-Apr-13 22:18:45

I'm glad to hear it's not just us then. Unfortunately it's a school book so we have to persevere. She's got 5 chapters (47 pages) to get through this week sad I think we'll use it as suggested for a chat about what makes a story she likes and what makes one she doesn't like.

simpson Mon 08-Apr-13 21:47:47

I also love Danny, DS is reading it ATM.

I remember listening to my dad read it to me as a child and being hooked!!

I had forgotten how amusing Esio Trot is (DD is reading it).

I love Danny... But it's quite normal for Rold Dahl so if you like the whimsical side go for something else. I liked the whole macabre side to CATGGE, but then again I was a Most Odd child...and there are vermicious knids in it! What's not to like?!

ceebeegeebies Mon 08-Apr-13 21:29:17

Wellthen does Danny, the Champion of The World get better then? confused Me and DS1 have been reading a chapter a night and I have found it incredibly dull - in fact, we haven't read it for about a week now and DS1 doesn't seem bothered as I don't think it was floating his boat either!

tribpot Mon 08-Apr-13 21:25:06

Awful - and macabre.

Morebiscuitsplease Mon 08-Apr-13 21:24:29

Always remember being so disappointed reading it as a child. Not a patch on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thumbs down here.

Wellthen Mon 08-Apr-13 17:05:52

It really lacks pace and the jokes and vocab are too grown up for the age it is pitched at. Definitely not one of his best. To be honest I think this opens up a nice discussion about her opinion on the book. Just because its RD doesnt make it good.

Is it a school book? I thought at first this was bedtime reading but your post makes it sound like its something she has to do. If its bedtime reading I'd scrap it and go for George's marvellous medicine or Danny the Champion of the world next.

Milzy Mon 08-Apr-13 16:56:00

I agree it's absolutely crap in comparison to the others. There's another less well known dahl book I like called the Mildenhall treasure. A true story with larger than life characters and lovely pictures. It's for ages 10 or so I'd say.

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