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Happy Roald Dahl Day!

September 13th is Roald Dahl Day!

"Matilda by Roald Dahl"I loved reading his books when I was growing up, and I’m still reading them. Now my kids are reading them—my daughter really likes Matilda.

I can’t imagine Roald Dahl’s stories without Quentin Blake’s illustrations. (There should be a Quentin Blake Day, too. While we’re waiting for someone to organise that, you can check out Quentin Blake’s fantabulous website.)

Anyway, back to Roald Dahl. Here’s something you didn’t know about me. When I was about 11, I used to correct people who thought Roald Dahl’s name was RONALD Dahl. They never believed me. (I was quite bossy about it but they didn’t know anyone else called Roald, so they thought I had it wrong. Ha!)

"Revolting Rhymes cover"Then, when I was 15, I had to learn a poem off by heart to recite in front of the class. I was very slack and I didn’t think about the assignment again until three days before the recital. In a bit of a panic,  I borrowed Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes from the library and I spent two nights frantically learning ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ It was fun and actually not too hard to memorise (even though it’s quite long) because of the rhymes and the way the story unfolds. And because, when you have someone listening to you reciting it (and they don’t have the book in front of them, so they can’t read ahead) you can’t wait to get to the funny bits!

I can’t remember what anyone else’s poems were about but I can still recite big chunks of Jack. If you haven’t read Revolting Rhymes yet, find a copy immediately. (If you can’t buy your own, ask for it at your school library or your local library.)

Visit the official Roald Dahl Day site for a free PDF with Roald Dahl Day activities. You could have a Roald Dahl Party to celebrate your favourite books any day, of course. It doesn’t have to be 13 September!

Here’s my favourite Roald Dahl Book. What’s yours?

"The BFG by Roald Dahl"

~ Rebecca Newman, Editor,  Alphabet Soup

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.

15 thoughts on “Happy Roald Dahl Day!

  1. Thanks for the reminder! I’ve shared the activities PDF on my Facebook page.
    In Year 4 our teacher read us the BFG. I loved it. I also adored the Revolting Rhymes and my friend and I presented our own adaptation of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at a school camp concert in Year 5.

    1. Our teacher read us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in year 4. He only read a chapter a day and I was so enthralled I went to the school library to borrow my own copy so I could read ahead. The school librarian wouldn’t let me! I’d forgotten about that …

  2. Having James and the Giant Peach read to our class in Grade 3 remains one of my strongest memories of primary school. Wonderful stuff! I still love reading Dahl’s children’s books – and his autobiographical ones, Boy and Going Solo, are great too. I’m with you on the idea that there should be a Quentin Blake Day as well …

  3. I love all the Roald Dahl books because whenever I borrow a new Roald Dahl book from the library I cannot put it down. I especially like James and the Giant Peach and The Twits. I like James and the Giant Peach because the insects are so interesting. I love The Twits because Mr Twit is very funny and disgusting. I also like the BFG because I like the Snozzcumbers. I imagined it like a cucumber. Those books are only some of them but I actually love all of the Roald Dahl books and Roald Dahl is my favourite author. Happy birthday Roald Dahl!

    1. Hi Celine,
      Isn’t snozzcumbers a great word? Roald Dahl was really clever at thinking up new and interesting words. (And I like how the BFG gets his words mixed up a lot, too.)

    1. Ah, that’s a shame. But you could celebrate it on another day perhaps? (I promise not to tell!) Otherwise, mark it on the calendar for 2011 and have a whole year to plan a whizzbang Roald Dahl Day party. 🙂

  4. I guess the most memorable of his books, for me, is The Twits. My twisted sense of humour revels in the idea of someone going to so much trouble to convince people things aren’t what they actually are. But The BFG and Revolting Rhymes are firm favourites too.

  5. Roald Dahl books are filled with good stories for anyone that loves adventure, especially his book Going Solo. This story is not made-up, but it’s about his own life story. He talks about how he was in the world war 2 and how he felt about everything. He also talks about animals and how much he hates snakes. I really like this book and I recommend you read it too.

    1. Yes, I love Going Solo (and his other autobiography, Boy, about his younger days at school). You can see where some of his ideas came from. 🙂

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