Monday, March 7, 2011

Roald Dahl, I love you!


Let's talk books again, shall we? I've always been quite the bookworm and as early as I can remember I've pretty much been obsessed with reading. I mean, I am a former English teacher! Now that I'm a Mom I find myself browsing the kid's and young adult section more than I did before, and just the other day I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite authors, Roald Dahl.

If that name doesn't ring a bell, be sure to check out his website. After clicking around, you may realize that this wonderfully talented man has created something you are indeed familiar with. Some of my favorites: The Witches, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Other titles you may recognize: The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, or James and the Giant Peach. He's also written countless short stories (some for adult audiences too), two novels, and a laundry list of books and plays.

I remember falling in love with Roald Dahl's creations after I first read The Witches. I adored the dark undertones and humor, and even as a young girl I could recognize just how awesome all of his stories were. They painted such vivid pictures in my mind, and later when many of these books and stories were made into movies I fell in love with those too. I was 8 years old when The Witches was made into a film and it absolutely terrified me, but in a good way. My sister and I sat on the downstairs couch, watching with baited breath as those horrible witches removed their wigs and stretched their toe-less feet. We covered our faces with the old blue blanket as the girl in the painting aged, wondering if that could really happen. Later we looked for signs of a witch, as first made clear in the book, and later clarified in the movie. We believed.

And years later, I still believe. Roald Dahl is the kind of author that makes you believe. Whether you are a child or an adult, his stories are magical things, a wonderful and sometimes scary world where imaginations can run wild. I still appreciate his writing today, and I look forward to the day when Henry does too.

Do you have a favorite childhood author? I'd love to check out some of yours, so if you'd like, leave a comment below and let me know! Happy reading!



54 comments:

  1. My favorite book is "The Witches". I also love the movie, I love Angelica Houston. I'm also a fan of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. I still have the copy I bought in the fourth grade.

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  2. Robert Munsch was my favourite author when I was a little kid. Dr. Suess was also a huge favourite of my family's.

    I'm just starting to pick up their for my little girl due in June, and I can't wait to share those awesome authors with her!

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  3. Adore him. I read 'Boy' SO many times during my primary school years- I think it was even the first book we 'studied' in English but don't remember how old I was. I can't think of any children's authors on the spot, but I highly recommend John Marsden for teenagers (and adults- I still read the books I have by him). Apart from that I read a lot of Sweet Valley haha.

    www.niceties.co.nz

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  4. Roald Dahl is amazing! I read my copy of Matilda so many times growing up that it literally fell apart. I still have it, though it's all taped up ;D

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  5. I used to LOVE The BFG.
    I really loved The Little House on The Prairie series and those "pick your ending" books. :D
    I think I missed out on a lot of children's chapter books though, by that point I was a "book snob" and refused to read anything for kids, I was adamant about reading only Stephen King and the like. haha! what a brat I was!

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  6. Oh I love Roald Dahl too! Matilda and The Twits were some of my favourites! Now you've reminded me I might to borrow some of his books from library to re-read!

    hannahwrappedup.blogspot.com

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  7. Im so glad you posted this. I just recently scored a collection of Roald Dahl books from Borders, 'cause they're closing down [sadly] and have everything on sale. My goal is to read through the entire collection in and month. I'm thinking of starting a painting series based on his books.

    MY favorite childhood author is Shel Silverstein. He's also one of my favorite illustrators. As I kid, I really enjoyed his magical and funny poems. As an adult, now I can see all the political and social undertones to the majority of his poems. But they still make me laugh :)

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  8. Did you ever read Boy or Going Solo? They are awesome books.

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  9. Roald Dahl is one of my favorites! I am currently wearing a James and the Giant Peach shirt, actually!

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  10. He's my fav!!! I'm in the process of adding all of his books to my library :) I love rereading childhood favorites and picking up on things I never noticed when I was younger.

    His books all translated well to the big screen too. His imagery is hard to beat!

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  11. I loved Roald Dahl when I was growing up. When I was in primary school, I would borrow Charlie and the Chocolate Factory each Friday, so that I could have it to myself for the entire weekend. I was a massive fan of Matilda, and I once spent over an hour crouched on my floor, eyeballing a pencil on my desk and trying to make it move. I am really looking forward to the day when my little cousins are old enough for Roald Dahl, because it will be awesome to be able to share his work with yet another generation.

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  12. one of my favorite authors. <3
    i love the BFG..
    xoox

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  13. I freaking love Roald Dhal. I read most of his books as a youngster and have basically fallen in love with the film adaptations of those books. My favorite book was definitely "The Witches" but "James and the Giant Peach" was a close second :)

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  14. We just pulled out BFG from out bookshelf to read just yesterday. how coincidental!

    I don't have a favorite author but we enjoy reading the classics. We have a small growing collection of classics such as Charlotte's Web, Peter Pan, Grimm's Fairytales, The Wind in the Willows, Aesop's Fables, Little Women, and a few more.

    I love reading books like this so much more than some of the garbage written today.

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  15. Roald Dahl is my absolute fave. Most of the quotes that I repeat over and over to my little one come from either a Dahl book or a Dahl-adapted screenplay!

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  16. he is still one of my all time favorite authors. his series of short stories in umbrella man is my all-time fave and then willy-wonka as a close second!

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  17. One of my faves is Boy, Dahl's autobiography...awesome.

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  18. Roald will always be one of my favorites!

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  19. Oh I too adore Roald Dahl. He is just incredible. I listened to an interview with his daughter on the radio when I moved to Arizona... It was a long and boring drive but the hour that I could hear clips of his work and about his life was just heaven! Thanks for posting and reminding me of my love for Roald Dahl!

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  20. Oh goodness, The Witches! I have seen that movie so so many times. SO GOOD!

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  21. I was just talking about Roald Dahl last night (my Mom teaches 3rd grade and is currently reading Matilda to her class.) I absolutely love his books- Witches is definitely my favorite -- and his short stories! Have you read Omnibus? It's a collection of short stories for grown ups that is just fantastic!

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  22. I love love love Roald Dahl! One of my most vivid childhood memories is of reading "The BFG" in a tent by flashlight while I was on a camping trip with my family. I've rarely experienced a feeling of contentment to rival that one!
    Another one of my favorite "kid" authors is Madeline L'Engle ("A Wind in the Door" "A Swiftly Tilting Planet"). LOVE those!

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  23. Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed is one of our favorites.

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  24. How funny, I was in the middle of watching The Incredible Mister Fox in my film class when I read this post. Loved it!

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  25. I loved roald Dahl. I remember reading "the twits" and being scared!

    I also loved Jacqueline Wilson and "little wolfs book of badness" by Ian Whybrow.

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  26. I used to love The Twits and George's Marvelous Medicine! Read them over and over! Also have a couple of his adult short story books and love them!

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  27. I love Roald Dahl - though I remember my best friend and I making our own (probably highly poisonous) version of George's Marvellous Medicine... that could have gone so wrong...

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  28. AMEN. To all of this. It's authors like him that made me such a little bookworm growing up. I couldn't ever get enough... I still can't!

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  29. Roald Dahl is amazing! I loved Matilda, The Witches and Charlie and the chocolate factory growing up. And of course, it was cool that he was Norwegian, all though he was born in England.

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  30. I loved James and the Giant Peach. And for the life of me, I cannot remember any authors from I was younger.

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  31. Roald Dahl is amazing! My 4.5 year old son is really getting into his stories right now, and I'm so happy. He loves for me to read Fantastic Mr. Fox to him and James and the Giant Peach. We took him to see a local production of the latter, and he was delighted!

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  32. Witches scared the crap out of my when I was a kid - me & my husband still like to watch that movie & talk about how creepy it is! And Fantastic Mr Fox..... I wasn't prepared for how AMAZING that movie is!

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  33. Danielle! I wrote a research paper for my literature criticism class that analyzed gender politics in Roald Dahl's The Witches and Matilda. It was so interesting and eye opening to read his books from a feminist standpoint and read more research on his children's books! I love him so so so very much, but after doing all of that research, I am wary of his viewpoint on women.
    Still, an amazing writer!

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  34. I never liked Roal Dahl, As a kid i never understood the fuss about Matilda fx, but maybe i should re-read them.

    My favorite was and is the Danish Author HC Andersen. I even got a standfast tinsoldier tatto, beacause that story is so beatiful and sad. A little more disneyfied, but the little mermaid is also a fave. I fall for the melancholic, happy ended stories ;)

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  35. RD is my fave! I got a collection of his books for Christmas!

    I hadn't read "Going Solo" before. It's an account of his time in the airforce during WWI...very interesting read. Great story telling. I thought it was a bit intense for young readers!

    Have you read any of his books for adults?

    I also love Shell Silverstein! :)

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  36. Beverly Cleary was one of my favorites! I loved reading the Ramona Quimby books, her adventures were so cool. I wanted a big sister like Ramona to pester, but sadly, I am the oldest.

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  37. I looove Roald Dahl!! I read Matilda a bunch of times as a kid because I loved it so much. I have a book of Roald Dahl short stories that are all awesomely creepy which I like to read once in a while!

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  38. Just wanted to say congrats on 3001 followers! LOVE your blog : )

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  39. WHAT THE CUSS! I LOVE The Fantastic Mr. Fox!

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  40. I love Roald Dahl too! I also love Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss!

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  41. Madeline L' Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" is amazing, as our her other books. And of course, Judy Blume rocks.

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  42. Ooh, I love him too! I played Aunt Spiker in our second grade production of James and The Giant Peach. Fact. :)

    I also adore Shell Silverstein. I still own all of his books and my kids dig him, too.

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  43. I must say I am a fellow bookworm and the funny thing about your post is that Roald Dahl made me one. I read the Matilda and I really loved how she was such a brainiac from reading and started gobbling book after book. I actually read and watched Matilda in pregnancy a few times, hoping one day to show my little one.

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  44. I also love Roald Dahl! Also an English teacher (on maternity leave at moment). My Nanna used to let me stay up to watch 'Tales of the Unexpected' (this may be a British series) when I'm sure I should have been in bed!!! It was a series in the 80s and some of them were the Roald Dahl stories for adults... I always remember the music at the start and a lady dancing in flames... often gave me nightmares but that was my introduction to Roald Dahl! My favourite children's story has to be Matilda. Can't wait for my boys to be old enough to read them!!

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  45. As so many people have said, I totally agree with you! Roald Dahl is my hero! I still have yet to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox movie, but I've heard good things. Great post!

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  46. Roald Dahl was one of my very favorites! I also loved Louisa May Alcott's books and the Anne of Green Gables series. My absolute favorite was Nancy Drew. :)

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  47. I just got to book on tape for Matlida to play in the car for the kiddos....I loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series. So fun to pass this stuff on to our little people!

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  48. I also grew up reading Roald Dahl! I couldn't wait for my class to have library day so I could pick up another book of his. I also loved Freaky Friday and The Babysitters Club books :)

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  49. I love Roald Dahl! His books is awesome and very entertaining! :)

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  50. Ah! My 7-year-old son has just devoured many of Roald Dahl's books! He would read them independently and then we'd read them together at night! Such good stories with amazingly descriptive language! We've just begun the Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events series and they are wonderful, a bit dark, and and we can't read them fast enough. I just had to stop lurking to say I love your blog!

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  51. I love Roald Dahl and I can't wait to read them to my (someday) children.
    My favourite was always The Witches. Followed by the BFG.

    I still remember the excitement when my mum handed me a slim volume of his short stories for adults (I think I was 11) - I loved them too. I still from time to time think of the one where the parents feed their child up on Royal Jelly. Brrr.

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  52. Thank you for reminding me how much I love Roahld Dahl! The BFG was a much-worn addition to my childhood bookshelf.
    I have to ask, book-worm to book-worm, what are you reading right now? I need a good book!

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