We’re celebrating Literacy Month this September by recognising the 100th birthday of world-renowned storyteller, Roald Dahl. Leaving behind a legacy of brilliantly imaginative and deliberately silly stories, Roald Dahl’s books stretch the minds and dreams of youngsters from all walks of life by penning tales of everyday children in surprising situations.
Here are five of Angela’s favourite Roald Dahl books, all available at Books & Books in Camana Bay:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Perhaps the one book most closely linked to Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells an enchanting story of chocolate rivers, candy-like gardens and confections of all sorts, much to the good fortune of Charlie Bucket, a young, poverty-stricken boy who lives with his family in a small cottage. More than anything else, Charlie loves Wonka chocolates – so much so that he spends his last dollar on a Wonka chocolate bar.
Charlie is one of five children who discover the prized Golden Ticket, granting the owner a visit to Willy Wonka’s famed Chocolate Factory. But the other lucky ticket-holders – who are gluttonous, spoiled, arrogant and self-obsessed – are eventually ousted from the factory in rather strange and unusual circumstances and the humble Charlie is the only child remaining.
Matilda Wormwood is an exceptionally bright and delightful little girl. All she ever wants to do is read. But her parents couldn’t care less about Matilda’s dreams and they tell her every chance they get. To make matters worse, Matilda’s treacherous headmaster at Crunchem Hall Academy, Miss Trunchbull, is quite the scare – a former Olympic hammer-thrower who hates children.
It all seems rather grim for Matilda until Miss Honey, Matilda’s kind teacher, encourages her to believe in herself. It’s not long before Matilda discovers she does indeed have an extraordinary power within: with just the point of her finger she can move anything!
Now, Matilda is set on a path to use her powers to protect herself, Miss Honey and the children of Crunchem Hall.
James and the Giant Peach
Orphaned at a young age, James Henry Trotter finds himself living in England with his two mean aunts, Spiker and Sponge. They force him to do all of the cleaning and he never gets to leave the house or play with friends.
One day, little lonely James meets an odd old man who gives him a magical crocodile tongue and tells him that when it’s drunk with water, it will gift him happiness and adventure. But before James can get home, he trips and spills his magical drink on a fruitless peach tree. A single giant peach grows – bigger than James’ house! – and he discovers a tunnel that leads to the peach’s seed. Inside, friendly human-sized bugs await who whisk him away on a daring journey as the giant peach falls from the tree, crushes his aunts and floats to New York City amidst a sea of colossal sharks.
Roald Dahl’s personal favourite, The BFG tells an enchanting tale of a rather unexpected friendship between an orphaned girl, Sophie, and a kind giant who captures dreams and shares them with good children throughout London.
Sophie, who has the hardest time falling asleep, is lying in bed reading on the night that would change her life forever. Through her bedroom window, Sophie spots the BFG! Now that she’s seen him, the giant must take her back to Giant Country. But the BFG – the smallest and friendliest of all giants of Giant Country – must save Sophie from the other giants who gobble up “human beans”.
Together, they set out on a mission to stop the man-eating giants who are invading Sophie’s world.
George’s Marvellous Medicine
George Kranky’s grandmother is … well, cranky. She’s a miserable old woman who claims to eat bugs and is really a witch. One unfortunate day, George is left at his grandmother’s while his parents are out running errands. While visiting, he decides he must concoct his own marvellous potion to rid his grandmother of her meanness. In the pot goes a bottle of shampoo, floor polish, horseradish sauce and whatever else George gets his hands on. His unsuspecting grandmother drinks George’s brew and promptly blows up like a balloon and her belly catches on fire!
It’s not long before George’s parents decide to try their own hand at making magic potions too … but many will end disastrously.
Want to learn more fun ways to celebrate Literacy Month with us? Click here to learn more about Roald Dahl and his impact on literacy around the world.
Published: Camana Bay blog, September 2014
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