Books Dahl and Magical Reading Themes

A brief look into Roald Dahl’s a Giraffe, a Pelly and Me

Iphigene here.

This particular story, I suppose is less popular than The BFG, The Witches, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as I’ve only ‘heard’ of it when I saw it in a bookseller’s shelf.  The book itself (the Puffin book version) is only 79 pages long, including the illustrations by Quentin Blake and a few original verses by Dahl.

The story, compared to Dahl’s other more popular novels, is in the first person. It starts with “I.” Billy, our young hero, narrates the story. He tells us of the recently acquired old sweetshop and its new occupants—a Giraffe, a Pelican and a Monkey (the “Me” in the title).

Like all Dahl stories, we must simply believe that these three animals could buy property and set up shop. Speaking of shop, Roald Dahl once again makes things possible with how much he stretches his readers’ imagination, for what better shop can a Giraffe, a Pelican and a Monkey have, if not a Ladderless Window Cleaning Company.

We are the window cleaners
We will polish your glass
Till it’s shining like brass
And it sparkles like sun on the sea!
We are quick and polite,
We will come day and night,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me!

So goes their song. How then do they clean windows? For a ladder they use the Giraffe, for a pail they use the Pelican and for Wiping they use the Monkey. It’s a very creative system that makes the reader go: “Well, that’s right, why didn’t I think of that?”

The story is quite simple, Billy and our three window cleaners are hired by the Duke to clean his windows and in the process they help catch a burglar. As a reward, they are given their dreams. For the giraffe it’s the fruit of the Tinkle Tinkle tree, for the Monkey its nut trees, for the Pelican it’s a pond filled with Salmon and for the boy it’s candy for his sweetshop.

The Duke’s Palace has so many Windows!

What then can any reader take from this book? Personally, I think it reminds us of things we’ve taken for granted. Things such as: the value of work and what it gives us, concern for others, using our talents/gifts for the betterment of lives, and maybe, just maybe a flash of ingenuity.

The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me is a short story that allows its readers to imagine, to dream and to believe that sometimes with our little talents (no matter what others say) can be of help to others and can fulfill our wildest dreams.

We have tear in our eyes
As we wave our goodbyes,
We loved being with you, we three.
So do please now and then
Come and see us again,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

What better invitation can I give for you to try and take a peek into this little story.

7 comments on “A brief look into Roald Dahl’s a Giraffe, a Pelly and Me

  1. When I read your review, I found the book in our library. It is a delightful find by Dahl. Thanks for telling about it. I know all the others and have enjoyed your posts. He is such a pleasure to me and to our students.


    • Hi Linda,
      Nothing is more fulfilling to a blogger than to compel people to pick up the book for themselves. I’m glad you did and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the Dahl-theme. 🙂 Thanks for the visit. It’s always a pleasure to hear from our readers.


  2. Pingback: Highlights of November and Carnival of Children’s Literature |

  3. I have loved this book ever since my teacher read it to the class when I was a child.

    I have recently got back in touch with it as came across your blog! Thanks, it was really nice to hear what you thought!

    I have recently made an animation of it for my portfolio. If you fancy a bit of eye candy you can play it here:

    Hope it makes you smile!


    • Hi Carl,
      Thanks for dropping by this old review. It was a lovely and easy book to read. Your animation is wonderful. thanks for leading me to it. 🙂


      • Thank you too for taking the time to check out my wee little project! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

        Best wishes,

        Carl 🙂


  4. kate o'mahony oldtown templemore co. tipperary

    Read this book for my children and still love the poem the giraffe the pelly and me regards kate tipperary


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: