Re-reading Roald Dahl

MatildaI have had the occasion over the past few months to read again three of the most known Roald Dahl’s books : Matilda, the Big Friendly Giant and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Having read – and loved them – as a young kid, I was wondering if I would enjoy them as much as an adult. And the answer is a loud Y E S !

Here are the books’ synopsys, according to Good Reads :

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

 

Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.

When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, along with Roald Dahl’s other tales for younger readers, make him a true star of children’s literature. Dahl seems to know just how far to go with his oddball fantasies; in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for example, nasty Violet Beauregard blows up into a blueberry from sneaking forbidden chewing gum, and bratty Augustus Gloop is carried away on the river of chocolate he wouldn’t resist. In fact, all manner of disasters can happen to the most obnoxiously deserving of children because Dahl portrays each incident with such resourcefulness and humor.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a singular delight, crammed with mad fantasy, childhood justice and revenge, and as much candy as you can eat.

 

I would love to read them to or with my kids one day. I believe Roald Dahl’s books should be mandatory reading in every family. Matilda may have been instrumental in my becoming an avid reader. So if you want little readers in your house, parents, this is where you – and your kids – should start.

Have fun reading 🙂

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