Jill's Reviews > Esio Trot

Esio Trot by Roald Dahl
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's review
Mar 17, 2012

it was ok
Read from March 12 to 13, 2012

Not the best message here, that burglary and deception are acceptable tactics for gaining affection and Roald Dahl doesn't present the main female character in the most agreeable light. But consider cutting him a little slack for being a product of his generation. That, and no fully functioning adult would fall for Mr. Hoppy's scheme. Then again, plenty of fully functioning adults are gullible enough to wire their money to Nigeria, so who's to say! Final decision: as with The Twits, the characters are caricatures, not meant to be rooted in reality. It's a cute story if you don't read much into it.

Here's what I liked. The little historical tidbit at the beginning of the book explaining that at the time he wrote this it was common in England for households to have a pet turtle. However, the tortoises were treated cruelly during the importation process. They were packed in so tight for the trip from North Africa that many of them died along the way. So a law was passed in England not long before the printing of this edition putting the cruelty to an end by making the importation of tortoises illegal. Something I probably would never have known had I not read this story. I think it's an important point to explain to children reading the story that when getting a pet it's important to consider the source, and how the animal was treated before coming to your home. Now I'm not an animal rights activist, I'm not even a vegetarian. But as with other things in life (pets, food, water supply), it's important to stop now and then to consider the back-story and evaluate the source.

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