Esio Trot

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Overview

Mr. Hoppy is in love with Mrs. Silver, but her heart belongs to Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr. Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs. Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea to win her heart. If Mr. Hoppy's plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it's going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a little bit of magic.

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Overview

Mr. Hoppy is in love with Mrs. Silver, but her heart belongs to Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr. Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs. Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea to win her heart. If Mr. Hoppy's plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it's going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a little bit of magic.

"This celebrated, splendidly matched authorÐillustrator team here present a love story that is equally sweet and silly."--Publishers Weekly

Shy Mr. Hoppy devises a plan to win the heart of his true love by teaching her a spell to make her tortoise grow bigger.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This celebrated, splendidly matched author-illustrator team here present a 64-page love story that is equally sweet and silly. For years, Mr. Hoppy has leaned over his balcony rail to gaze longingly at Mrs. Silver, who lives one floor below him. But all of her attention and affection is showered upon her pet tortoise, Alfie. Although the creature seems content, his devoted owner is concerned because he has gained a mere three ounces in the 11 years she has owned him. When the distressed Mrs. Silver tells her neighbor that she will be his ``slave for life'' if he can find a way to make Alfie grow, the determined Mr. Hoppy devises an elaborate scheme to make her think the tortoise is growing. (Since tortoises, according to Mr. Hoppy, are backward creatures that ``can only understand words that are written backwards,'' his exhortation to the pet begins ``Esio Trot''--which is ``tortoise'' reversed.) It is a happy Hoppy who gets all the credit--and Mrs. Silver's hand. Adults and older children will appreciate Dahl's superior storytelling skills, and will chuckle at Blake's animated, cartoony drawings. But the book's length and subtle humor make it less suitable for beginning readers. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Mr. Hoppy has admired Mrs. Silver, his downstairs neighbor, for years. She, however, has bestowed all her love and attention on her pet turtle Alfie. Mr. Hoppy is so shy that he just can't bring himself to ask her to tea. One day he hears her lamenting the slow growth of her pet, and he is struck with an idea. He concocts a magic spell and convinces Mrs. Silver that he has the secret to help Alfie grow. How he manages to fool her, and finally succeeds in getting her to notice him, will have readers chuckling. It is all delightfully illustrated with black-and-white drawings by Quentin Blake. 1999, orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- What is this? A love story by Dahl? By the master of the malign, the nabob of the nasty, the king of the coarse, the baron of the body function? Can it truly be he? Well, in a word . . . yes--it can. And to those who still disbelieve, it's a sweetly insouciant love story at that. For years, old Mr. Hoppy has loved his neighbor, Mrs. Silver, a widow who, alas, only has eyes for her pet tortoise, Alfie. The details of how her wish that Alfie would grow a little faster inspires Mr. Hoppy to win the widow's heart will not be divulged here (but it has something to do with the fact that ``Esio Trot'' is ``tortoise'' spelled backward). There's not much room for character development in this slender story, but Blake's jauntily scribbled illustrations are--as always--the perfect comic complement and manage to give even Alfie a personality. --Michael Cart, Beverly Hills Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141304649
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/28/1999
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 4.92 (h) x 0.17 (d)

Meet the Author


Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Quentin Blake is a well-known artist whose work has made him popular on both sides of the Atlantic. He has illustrated most of Roald Dahl’s children’s books as well as many others. He lives in London, where he teaches illustration at the Royal College of Art.

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    Well written for the intended age group

    Esio Trot is a well written love story for the appropriate age. It's cute and charming. I enjoyed this delightful tale of Mr. Hoppy winning Mrs. Silver's heart by helping her with her turtle dilemna. This story doesn't own any of the writer's dark humor. It's light-fare and quite entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2006

    nice story

    I liked it the frist time i read it, and my image of the book hasn't faded, basic story but not one you my cry over the ending, but smile to mr.hoppy's celverness. truthfuly not the best book i'ved read, but good if you want to past the time with a short tale. Roald Dalh was an awsome writer who showed children of all ages into the door of reading. I was about five when i heard my frist story by him, im 15 now and i still remmber his storys.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2004

    Not Dahl's best, and NOT a good book for your kids....

    First of all, and BY FAR, worst of all, on page 21, Mrs. Silver says that she will be Mr. Hoppy's 'slave for life' if he can make Alphie bigger. Mr. Hoppy repeats this over and over and is thrilled and motivated to perform his scheme when he hears this. Its awful because no woman and no person, even, should be a slave to anyone. It also stresses debt and obligation that one person has towards someone else, which is fufilled at the end when she enters into a marriage with this guy. Which brings me to my second point, Mrs. Silver didn't even know Mr. Hoppy and accepts his proposal. This is unrealistic and doesn't teach kids anything real life. Prior to that, too, Mr. Hoppy loves this woman and doesn't know anything about her. In reality, this kinds of infatuation and scheming is actually more scary than anything else. It actually sets a bad example for kids about the progression of real life relationships. And what is love? This book does nothing to expose kids to the true nature of love; Dahl equates love with infatuation. Its also a shame how the female protagonist is portrayed. Mrs. Silver is painted as really gullible (she believes Mr. Hoppy and his spells and offers her life away as property for him because of it). She's also so stupid that she doesn't even notice that the tortoise she loves she much is growing. Also, keeping the 140 turtles piled on top of one another eating 'thick old cabbage leaves' isn't good for the tortoises and doesn't teach kids anything about proper care and respect towards animals. The fact that Mr. Hoppy returns the tortoises to the pet shops doesn't say much for responsibility towards one's pets either. Mr. Hoppy is actually a really sketchy character who fits the profile of a stalker: he's got nothing in his own life (and no furniture), he spies on Mrs. Silver, he knows what hours she works, etc. I was so surprised that Mr. Hoppy gets away with his scheme. They live happily ever after with this lie between them, and it shows kids that he can keep with secret from the woman he loves and still be happy (he is not punished for his wrongdoing, but instead rewarded). I waited to the end to be surprised by Dahl because I was hoping Mr. Hoppy would fess up with Mrs. Silver about his life, but, nope, didn't happen. All in all, I was very disappointed, and I don't think this book is good for children. It was a sad waste of 15 minutes of my life, and then this took another 15+ minutes to write, but the complaints needed to aired...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    A reviewer

    funny and good for everyone on earth and in space

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2006

    Disapointing

    Of all of Roald Dahls books, this one was worse. It's subject was so pointless. I mean he keeps switching around tortises untill his 'love' loves him. I mean, it was a happy ending and such, but it was really kinda weird. I recomend the better books by Roald Dahl.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2002

    a reviewer

    This book is about a man whos name is mr. hoppy heloves a lady named ms.silver so once he found a way to tell her she loves turtlers she wanted her turtler to get biger so he went to the pet store and bought a lot of turtles and each week he changes a few .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    Esio Trot

    A great short read. Esio Trot was very funny and creative. I would recomend it to anyone.

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    Posted May 6, 2013

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    Posted June 8, 2009

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    Posted April 30, 2012

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