Posts Tagged ‘Roald Dahl’

Top Books to Share with Your Children

August 23rd, 2012 No comments

Which book would you most like to pass on to your children? This was the question posed by Britian’s University of Worcester, querying 2,000 adults about the singular book they would choose to share with their kids. Being a British poll, native authors were heavily favored in the top ten list, with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol taking the number one spot. The only Americans to make the list were George Orwell, who came in at number seven with Animal Farm and Harper Lee, who earned the tenth spot with her only novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

The premise of the poll, choosing only one book, is a bit unfair, as most book lovers would be hard pressed to chose just a single book to pass on to their children. No doubt a list as subjective as this will have many bibliophiles shaking their heads at the titles that were not included. For my part, I would have included at least one Roald Dahl title, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory come quickly to mind. I also feel that J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye deserves a spot, as Holden Caulfield, that paragon of adolescent discontent, has left an indelible imprint on contemporary literature. Read more…


Roald Dahl’s Most Memorable Villains

September 19th, 2011 No comments

The Witches 1st edition cover art.

Last Tuesday, September 13, would have been author Roald Dahl’s 95th birthday. To honor the icon of children’s literature, Flavorwire posted an article listing ten of the writer’s best villains. Some nasty all-stars made the cut, such as the repulsive aunt Spiker and aunt Sponge, who torment the orphan James in James and the Giant Peach. Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the sadistic headmistress in Matilda, also topped the list. Some lesser known, but equally cruel, baddies rounded out the top ten, including the disgustingly hairy couple from The Twits and the Grand High Witch from The Witches, all of whom absolutely detest small children. Who is your favorite villain in the Roald Dahl catalog?

In a strange turn of events last week, members of Dahl’s own family are being accused of villainy, or at least stinginess, after granddaughter Sophie Dahl made a public plea to help raise £500,000 ($790,000) to save the novelist’s writing hut on British radio. The U.K., like most of the world, is suffering from a weak economy and members of the public responded with outrage that a family that still reaps the royalties from the healthy sales of Dahl’s books are asking for financial help. Read more…


James and the Giant Peach Turns 50

June 8th, 2011 No comments

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s classic James and the Giant Peach, which according to the author’s website, was the “first major book” Dahl wrote for children. Generations have fallen in love with the orphan James Henry Trotter, forced to live with his horrible aunts, Sponge and Spiker, who embarks on a magical adventure inside a giant peach. To celebrate the silver anniversary, publisher Penguin has created an interactive global campaign called Follow that Peach! Children, parents and people of all ages are invited to send Peach-grams to friends and family worldwide to share the news of the book’s birthday. Read more…


A Celebratory Month for Roald Dahl

September 14th, 2010 No comments
Portrait of Roald Dahl,1954. By Carl Van Vechten.

Portrait of Roald Dahl, 1954. By Carl Van Vechten.

Yesterday, marked author Roald Dahl’s 94th birthday and was the kick off day for a month of activities in Britain planned in honor of this giant of children’s literature. Though Dahl died in 1990 from leukemia, his body of work, which includes James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, remains wildly popular among kids and adults. Roald Dahl Day was initially launched on September 13, 2006 to commemorate his 90th birthday, but the outpouring of public affection for the writer and his stories has turned the event into a month-long celebration. “We thought it was going to be a one-off celebration but, because the previous years have been so successful, we can’t stop,” Felicity Dahl, the author’s widow, explains to The Guardian. “Roald was a great believer in birthdays being filled with treats, so he would be so happy that this tradition seems to be becoming an annual event.” Read more…