Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER. Quentin Blake has illustrated more than three hundred books and was Roald Dahl's favourite illustrator. In 1980 he won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. In 1999 he became the first ever Children's Laureate and in 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration.
Billy unexpectedly saves the Duke's diamonds from burglars in this funny tale. Ages 3-8. (August)
Gr 1-4 Blake's frenetic watercolors are quite appealing, but they do not redeem this slight story. A little boy wandering by a deserted old grubber (sweet shop) notices some movement within and meets the owners of the Ladderless Window-Cleaning Co. The building's new tenantsa giraffe, a pelican and a monkeyhave hardly introduced themselves to the lad when a chauffeur-driven limousine arrives to invite the glass-shining team to clean the 677 windows of the Duke's house. After demonstrating their cleaning finesse (and catching a burglar in the process), the three are rewarded with edible gifts and an invitation to live with the Duke. Young Billy receives the renovated sweet shop stocked with candies of the world, which Dahl describes in detail. The charming illustrations surrounding the verse beg to climb off of the oversize pages. Perhaps the effect would be smashing as an animated cartoon, but the minimal plot development makes this an extremely weak book. Susan Scheps, Bertram Woods Branch Library, Shaker Heights, Ohio