Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Henry chose this book from the school library and it’s taken us a few weeks to get through it! 

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is the sequel to the ever popular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the story picks up right where the first book ends. Charlie has just been given the chocolate factory and he and his family are with Mr Wonka in the Great Glass Elevator. 

Events then develop as the Great Glass Elevator takes them off on adventures firstly into space to battle the alien Vermicious Knids then back to the factory to explore more of Mr Wonka’s amazing concoctions. 

The chapters vary in length but are quite long so we usually only read one each bedtime which is why it took a couple of weeks to finish! 

As with most Roald Dahl books there are fab illustrations by Quentin Blake throughout which help break up some of the longer passages of text. 

Henry is a big of fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and often listens to it on audio CD so the characters are familiar to him. I asked him what he thought of the Great Glass Elevator and he said that he liked the Vermicious Knid that had a bumped bottom and that the best bit was when they came back down to the chocolate factory. 

Henry enjoyed the story but said he still prefers Charlie and the Chocolate Factory though! 

He also said he didn’t like Grandma Georgina because she wasn’t very nice to Mr Wonka who is his favourite character! 

Although Henry listened well and understood the main parts of the story, some of the word play, jokes and events were a little beyond his comprehension. It will be a good book for him to revisit himself in a few years. 

When reading, I realised that I had not read it before and I enjoyed reading more about the characters from Charlie and the chocolate factory. 

Overall, a great bedtime read but probably better suited for 7+ year olds who will appreciate more of the jokes and word play. 


Pirate School series by Jeremy Strong 

Henry really does like pirate books so this series by Jeremy strong is a winner with him.

There are 5 books in the series and so far we have read 4 of them. 

Patagonia Clatterbottom is the headmistress of the Pirate School where Smudge, Flo, Ziggy and Corkella are pupils. Each of the books deals with the adventures and mishaps that the pupils and teachers get up to. As usual with Jeremy Strong books, the events are silly and funny and often make Henry laugh out loud. 

These are early reader books and have colour illustrations and short chapters – we easily read two a night. 

They are great for sharing with Henry at bedtime and he especially loves it every time we have to say ‘Clatterbottom’ ! 

Captain Firebeard’s School for Pirates by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Anna Chernyshova 

Whilst browsing the library shelves for books to read with Pippa at bedtime, we came across Captain Firbeard’s School for pirates. It is an early chapter book and has a very ‘orange’ cover which caught Pippa’s eye as it’s her favourite colour. I read the blurb and she liked the sound of it. 

It is an entertaining story about a boy called Tommy who starts at the best pirate school there is – Captain Firebeard’s. it follows his first term and the lessons he has in how to be a pirate. Like most school based stories he makes a few friends and there  is a rival gang of ‘baddies’ who want to cause mischief for Tommy. The story features treasure hunts, secret codes, whirlpools and all kinds of piratey stuff with plenty of opportunities to say aaaaarrrrr! 

There are orange, black and white illustrations on most pages, some are just text but are usually followed by ones with lots of pictures. The chapters are around 20 pages long so we usually only read one per night. 

Pippa’s best part of the book was when it said ‘poop deck’ – cue hilarious giggles! She said her favourite character was Tommy because she liked that he had a parrot called McBeaky. She also liked Captain Firebeard because he had a big orange beard and is funny. 

This is currently the only book about Tommy and Firebeard’s pirate school, I don’t know if there will be any more but we really enjoyed this one so hopefully there will be more adventures in the future.  Definitely a great bedtime read for pirate fans or those who like adventures or school based stories.