I grew up with Roald Dahl’s work. A genius storyteller, his books weren’t afraid to challenge children, and that’s why they’re so successful. To mark Roald Dahl Day (okay, I’m a day late), here, in no particular order, are my top five favourite moments from the works of Dahl.
1. Bruce Bogtrotter, Matilda
There’s nothing about this chapter that isn’t great. We all had ambitions of eating an entire chocolate cake when we were younger (I still do), but Bruce did it. And in doing so, he got one over on Miss Trunchbull.
2. Witch reveal, The Witches
Still one of the things that scares me most, the bit where the boy sees the witches unveiling their true selves at the hotel convention is terrifying.
3. Stretching Mrs Twit, The Twits
There are so many good tricks the Twits play on each other that it’s difficult to pick one, but probably my favourite is when Mr Twit makes Mrs Twit thinks she’s shrinking by adding length to her walking stick, and then persuading her to use a stretching machine to make herself taller. Still, she did make him eat worm spaghetti.
4. Red Riding Hood, Revolting Rhymes
I will forever remember reading about Red Riding Hood and how she ‘whips a pistol from her knickers/She aims it at the creature’s head/And bang bang bang she shoots him dead’. Dahl’s Red Riding Hood kicked butt.
5. Difficulty, Matilda
I knew how to spell difficulty before reading Matilda, but Miss Honey’s method was so much fun, I learnt it all over again. All together now: “Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs F F I, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs L T Y.”
What do you love from Roald Dahl’s work?
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Little Red Riding Hood was my absolute favourite although what happened to Goldilocks was a close second.
I loved Revolting Rhymes. Fairytales are good, but I think Roald Dahl understood children want a bit of adventure and guts and gore too.