Hello again my beautiful people!
This time last week it was National Read A Book Day where I highlighted erm… National Read A Book Day. Surprising that.
Today is Roald Dahl Day! How Dahlicious!
Ok, that word was on the website so I can’t lay claim to creating its awesomeness.
But I think everyone should take the time to enjoy the awesomeness that are the books of Roald Dahl and the best day to do it (but not the only day!) is what was his birthday.
The Roald Dahl website is a treasure trove of information about the writer, pictures, and even advice that he gave about writing. Of course there is plenty of information about which books to read and I’m stealing some of it for here!
On the website they have a suggested ‘reading list’ based on what type of story you like. I’ve selected my favourite in each of their categories so read on if you’re interested!
Disclaimer: All art work is by Quentin Blake. Obviously.
The Magic Finger is about a nameless narrator whose neighbours are not very nice people and they are not very nice people because of their relish for killing animals and for making fun of the narrator when she expresses her dislike of it.
But this, my friends, is a Roald Dahl book. It’s a book for children. There is a message and there is magic and the message is that hunting for sport is bad and the magic is in the titular finger when our narrator turns her neighbours into small bird like creatures. Then the tables turn…
What I love the most… this is an anti hunting book. For children. Roald Dahl always said he would never dumb anything down for children because, quite rightly stated, children are not dumb.
Everyone knows about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you’ve not read the book then you may have seen one of the two movie adaptations. As a child who didn’t want to open a chocolate bar and discover a golden ticket? As an adult who didn’t want to open a chocolate bar and discover a golden ticket?!
Well… maybe not. That place was a death trap without the actual death. Roald Dahl was not above and beyond writing about horrible things that happened to horrible children. And children loved reading about it.
Almost every story (well, children’s story) of Roald Dahl fits the bill. While Roald Dahl will write about his characters suffering and overcoming adversity he always makes sure that the baddies are defeated and the children’s lives are happy.
I could have chosen many from the list but I have gone with Matilda because I not only adore the book I adore the character. As a bookish child, reading about another bookish child was wonderful. Though Matilda was more gifted in the telepathic department.
In Matilda it isn’t just the deplorable Miss. Trunchball that deserves her comeuppance but also Matilda’s own parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood.
This also has the lovely relationship between Matilda and Miss. Honey which warms my heart.
The Grand High Witch from The Witches doesn’t look too bad, she looks fi…
Do you want a confession? I am liberal with them. I can’t watch this movie in full and I am 33. The entire scene from when Bruno enters the hall until when Luke is turned into a mouse… I just can’t do it. And if you think the book is any less terrifying because it’s a book than you’re wrong.
This book is just amazing because somehow it is a horror book for children that children love. The ending also isn’t blindingly happy either and I think that bucks the trend for a lot of children books.
I think Revolting Rhymes may have been the kick start to my unending fascination with twisted fairy tales. I remember pouring over my copies of these at my grandparents house because what else should loving grandparents buy you?
I will never not love this:-
Ah, Piglet, you must never trust
Young ladies from the upper crust
For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes,
Not only have two wolfskin coats,
But when she goes from place to place
She has a pigskin travelling case.
It is very important that you read Tales of the Unexpected. This is not a children’s book but is a collection of short stories for adults and contains some of the best short stories that I could ever read.
My husband hasn’t read any of them and I am forever recounting them to him whereby he chuckles and goes, ‘these are dark but amusing’, and I think that sums it all up.
Everyone will talk about ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ and rightly so because it is amazing but I also quite like ‘Royal Jelly,’ ‘The Landlady and ‘Skin.’
If you think Roald Dahl is ‘just’ for children then think again!
Please feel free to share your thoughts/ favourites of Roald Dahl or even publicly confess that you have never read anything he’s written so that I can
publicly shame you make recommendations to you.