Monday, July 29, 2013

Roald Dahl

Today’s author to read aloud is Roald Dahl. Did anyone not love his writing when they were a kid?   He just seems to understand a child’s sense of humour. He gets that they love for kids to win, for the nasty people to lose and for it all to happen in a rather funny way.

We start our kids on Fantastic Mr Fox (~age 6-7). It’s short, easy to follow and fun to read.  Everyone hates the three farmers and wants the foxes to win.

Then we move on to James and the Giant Peach or perhaps Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In time we include The BFG.  My daughter (8) was rather scared of The BFG for a while, until she picked it up on her own recently, got through the first few chapters and was hooked.

What’s good about Roald Dahl books is you can continue to read them into teen years and adulthood. His short stories for older readers are great, with twists and turns that few can predict. I always enjoyed The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar as a teenager, I found it so wonderful I wanted it to be real.

For those who like ‘nice’ stories, Roald Dahl is not for you. But if you are happy with dark humour, horrible adults who get what they deserve and good kids who always win in the end, his books are great fun.  Also, we should not forget the wonderful collaboration he had with Quentin Blake, the illustrator who made the books come alive.

There are also collections of his rhymes and verse, one of the presents I still remember loving as a child was Revolting Rhymes, a nastier version of many fairy tales. Great fun!

What are your favourite Roald Dahl books?

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