Sunday, 13 September 2009

Happy Roald Dahl Day!


I discovered via Twitter on Friday that today is Roald Dahl Day and I wanted to commemorate it. Roald Dahl was and remains my favourite children's author. I devoured his books as a child, hungry for his words as Augustus Gloop was for the chocolate river.

As a Roald Dahl-centic post I am borrowing from anothercookiecrumbles who posted her favourite Roald Dahl novels recently. I am reluctant most of the time to play favourites as it can be completely subjective depending on my mood when asked; however, giving it more thought than my gut-instinct response to the post, my favourites remain as Matilda, The Twits, and The Witches. The only one that I actually still own (due to an unfortunate incident involving all of my books from childhood being left in the attic when my parents moved house...) is Matilda and how can I not adore a book about a girl who loves reading so much a reads every children's book in the library?

Although I no longer have a copy of The Twits, I do own an Itchycoo translation into Glaswegian, The Eejits, which makes me laugh ... a lot. The cruelty of the married couple amused me for hours and hours of rereads when I was young. I loved their ingenuity and how they continually attempted to outwit one another. I remember my favourite trick as the one where Mr or Mrs Twit (I can't remember which) glues all of the furniture to the ceiling to fool their spouse into believing they were upside down, which is wickedly genius.

The Witches is such a fantastic premise. I loved to be scared as a child and this one is wonderful read aloud, especially in school for the part alone where Dahl writes that anybody could be a witch ... even your teacher! This was one of the most fun Dahl's, in my opinion, although also very disturbing.

I also love Charlie, Danny, and James… I need to purchase a complete boxset of Dahl books and embrace my inner child. My boyfriend and I are very excited to see Fantastic Mr Fox, are you?



13 comments:

Darlene said...

Fantastic Mr Fox looks like one of those films where the adults are going to be having just as good a time as the kids!

I was such a Matilda when I was a child.

Paperback Reader said...

Doesn't it, Darlene? It looks like so much fun.

Matilda was and always will be a literary character I identified with.

Steph said...

I loved Roald Dahl when I was younger too! Definitely loved Matilda, The Twits, and The Witches, but I also liked The BFG a good deal as well. I think my brother really loved Fantastic Mr. Fox. I had heard that a movie was coming out but didn't really pay much attention to it... now I'm excited!

Have you read any of Dahl's adult fiction? I haven't found it very easy to come by, but would like to try some. I know it's supposed to be much darker than his kiddie lit (though they could be pretty gruesome as well!), but I figure they might be of the "black humor" variety, which I can get behind.

Paperback Reader said...

Steph, I don't recall much about The BFG, to be honest, except for an adaptation (perhaps UK only) that used to be on TV at Christmas.

I have read some of Dahl's adult fiction. "Lamb to the Slaughter" left an impression when taught it at school; it was definitely black humour. I have one of his volumes of short stories and was considering reading some of them for the RIP challenge if I have time.

Nymeth said...

I'm definitely looking forward to The Fantastic Mr Fox! Roald Dahl + Wes Anderson surely can't go wrong!

I wish I had remembered about Roald Dahl Day sooner so I could have written a post too... maybe I could have re-read of some of his short stories for adults. But I can always do that next Sunday! As you were saying, they are perfect for RIP.

savidgereads said...

They have kept Roald Dahl Day quite quiet I think which is a shame. Especially as he was oneof my favourite childhood authors. The Witches is amazing and now am wondering why its not in my top 40 books as I loooooved it! I had no idea that movie was coming out either. Speaking of movies... am off to see Julie and Julia tonight!

anothercookiecrumbles said...

I didn't know it was Roald Dahl Day! Blah!

You need to purchase the boxset. It's one of the smartest things I ever did!!

I had Charlie instead of The Twits, on my top three, but the other two are the same.

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, I plan on truly celebrating the day and Dahl on another day too, when I am more prepared. It seems as if everything just now is apt for RIP!

Simon, it could definitely have been better publicised and why isn't google acknowledging it? I want cute Quentin Blake letters on my search engine NOW!
Hope you enjoy Julie & Julia and looking forward to your thoughts.

anothercookie, I foresee that boxset in my near future...

Happy Roald Dahl Day! We should have an RD weekend at some point.

anothercookiecrumbles said...

Sure thing - I'd actually lobby for that!!! :)

Paperback Reader said...

And you would surely be elected!

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe the tragedy of you losing your books in the attic!

I grew up on Roald Dahl. My favourite would be a toss up between BFG and Danny the Champion of the World, largely because I loved the videos. Even at 8 I knew that Jeremy Irons was worth watching!

I love Matilda too, though, and the film is wonderful.

Tony said...

I liked his childhood autobiography, 'Boy'; very entertaining. I remember 'James and the Giant Peach' being very surreal too...

Paperback Reader said...

Rachel, I was lucky that it wasn't all of my children's books but it was the majority of them; it still hurts to think about! I very recently learned that a few boxes of my books have gone to the attic at my parents' house and I am concerned that I'm never going to see them again...

I know exactly what you mean about Jeremy Irons. I loved that adaptation.

Tony, I don't remember much about Boy but I adored James and the Giant Peach; it definitely appealed to my imagination as a child.