Fri-Dahl Reads: Esio Trot

We’ve had a busy week; not only are we anticipating the back to school rush, we’ve also undergone a slight change which you may have seen us post about– we have a new name!

Our service is continually improving and over the Summer it was agreed that a new name for the School Library Service would better reflect the range of cost effective services offered to the  education sector. Our new name will be used for everything so if you follow us on any other social media platforms, please see the handy list below for an overview of where you can now find us- be sure you update your bookmarks to reflect our changes and to ensure you don’t miss out on our content: Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Website

We’re on week four of our Roald Dahl-related blog posts and another of our Librarians, Gail, has chosen ‘Esio Trot’ one of the author’s later stories and one published in 1990, the year of his death. The book was inspired by an experience Dahl had when visiting his daughter in London way back in 1978, and it was one that stayed with him for over ten years as he didn’t begin to write the story until 1989.

ESIO TROTI have to confess that I didn’t know the meaning of Dahl’s lesser-known story ‘Esio Trot’ when I was asked to a Roald Dahl day at school. I had KS2 sorted but was looking for one of Dahl’s stories to share with KS1 and decided to give ‘Esio Trot’ a read as it was nice and short. If you, like me, don’t know it, it’s a really sweet story about two elderly neighbours, Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver. Mr Hoppy devises a plan to please Mrs Silver by secretly helping her pet tortoise grow (using an invented magic chant and MANY incrementally bigger tortoises). Of course, you may now realise that Esio Trot is Tortoise spelt backwards!

The story is great for telling to KS1 with the help of different sized cardboard cutout tortoises on sticks and a little ‘grabber’ from your playground which Mr Hoppy used to lower the animals onto Mrs Silver’s balcony below.

There’s also a star-studded film starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench with narration from James Corden, which was shown at Christmas time in 2014. That’s good enough evidence for me that it’s time this story was as famous as the others!

You can find a copy of ‘Esio Trot’ in your local Norfolk library, along with the DVD, in case you’d like to give it a watch. You’ll also find some interesting information about the book here on the Roald Dahl website. Don’t forget to visit the library to borrow some lovely books and finish the Summer Reading Challenge; you can find where your nearest Norfolk branch is by looking here.

(feature image photo credit: Into the Tortoise via photopin (license))

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