Bookish: Roald Dahl Day 2018

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.

for animal lovers

the magic finger

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.

For Would Be Inventors


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.

justice served


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 witches

The Grand High Witch from The Witches doesn’t look too bad, she looks fi…

the witches movie


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.


revolting rhymes

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.

roald dahl


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.

5 thoughts on “Bookish: Roald Dahl Day 2018

  1. Snap! Also wrote a post for Roald Dahl Day. I think his work is a big influence on children’s books and popular culture today. Matilda my favourite. I have read his stories for adults, less of a fan, but I remember liking some of them. Agree The Witches film very frightening, loved Rowan Atkinson’s cameo as the hotel manager in it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I adore Roald Dahl and I think you’re right – there’s so much of his work that has influenced people. I also think his work has a timeless quality to it. He really knew how to write for children and knew that children are not squeamish about things that adults are!

      I do love The Witches movie but jeez…. there’s so much I watch through fingers! Rowan Atkinson is always hilarious but boy Angelica Houston smashed it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read some Roald Dahl, but not much of what on this list. It was nice learning more about him. We don’t really celebrate Roald Dahl day in U.S. (that I know of, maybe elementary schools do…), but it’s easy to see why he is so celebrated! I never realized how dark so much of his work is, and I think that darkness is missing from children’s lit these days. Which I don’t think is such a good thing. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I think he’s wonderful! It’s funny because I remember being fascinated and horrified by some of his books when I was a child but obviously it works because I still love them now.

      There is something wonderfully grim about his stuff but I think it’s done with such delightful charm that it works and they are definitely some of the most original children’s books that I’ve ever read. My friend has a little girl and I’m always buying her books and when she’s old enough I’ll definitely be buying her a collection of Roald Dahl’s!

      You can’t be a child in the UK and *not* read them!!

      Liked by 1 person

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