Dahl’s Chickens!

I’ve been a fan of Roald Dahl ever since I discovered he was the brains behind Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I saw the Gene Wilder movie dozens of times before I found the book in the library in fifth grade) and my favorite Willy Wonka candies that I bought at the school canteen — Gobstoppers, Pixy Sticks (the jumbo ones!), Runts (I loved the bananas!), Nerds, Dweebs (chewy Nerds), Tart & Tinys, Fun Dips, and SweeTarts — which led me to believe that Willy Wonka was a real person and that he had a chocolate factory somewhere. In fact, I was devastated (Santa Claus part II) when I eventually found out Nestle was making the candies!
UPDATE: My Roald Dahl Collection

After Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, I was fascinated with The Witches and Matilda, both of which I’ve read dozens of times.

I know a lot of people who were terrified as kids when they watched Angelica Huston’s portrayal of the Grand High Witch in the movie, but I didn’t get to see the movie until it was aired on Disney Channel several years ago, so I never had that problem. Like Roald Dahl himself, I was disappointed that they changed the ending in the movie.

I also liked Matilda, because our school’s parents association sponsored the film premiere when I was in sixth grade and I begged and begged my mom to get me a copy of the book after we saw the movie.

Matilda is one of my favorite characters because I could totally relate to her when I was younger– I was the kid who was always at the library until closing time, and I was always happy to be holed up alone in a room with a book. Hahaha, when I was younger I would set up a pencil on a dresser and try to levitate it like Matilda did, attempting to use my eyes to move the pencil and mouthing “Move!” fiercely. Today, I use Matilda as my BookMooch avatar.

To this day, the Grand High Witch and Miss Trunchbull are still in my list of the best book villains.

Other favorites include the BFG (which I only read recently, and I wanted to burst into applause after), George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (hilarious!), The Twits (also hilarious!), Revolting Recipes and Even More Revolting Recipes.

Having grown up on Roald Dahl books, Quentin Blake also became one of my all-time favorite illustrators. I love how you can look at his work and know without doubt that it’s his. Very simple, yet enormous comic appeal!
In college, I started reading Roald Dahl’s short story collections, and I found a whole new – but equally engrossing – way to enjoy his works. The stories are dark and humorous, highly imaginative and original, and always with a surprise twist in the end. It was surprising to find out he could write outside of children’s books, and he is excellent at both writing for kids and for adults.

This isn’t actually a review of Roald Dahl’s books (although it’s starting to veer in that direction), but a review of D is for Dahl (Book 60 for 2009), an A-Z book about one of Britain’s most celebrated children’s authors.

The book is not very thick, but still filled with a lot of interesting factoids I never knew about one of my favorite authors.

I read this book to “cleanse the palate” after reading Silverlock during the read-a-thon, and I was laughing from start to end.

Am sharing my favorite entries:

The lamb debacle

Come to think of it, they don’t have names!


The cutest story ever!

Who would’ve thought?

My copy: trade paperback, mooched from Triccie

My rating: 5/5 stars

10 thoughts on “Dahl’s Chickens!”

  1. It’s one of my favorites too. I remember when I read the book, I was amazed at how much I loved the book more than the movie :)

    I remember the version I read at the library too — it was big and hardbound and had a lot of pictures in it.

  2. Blooey, you MUST read Danny, Champion of the World. That was my introduction to Dahl at age 7 or so, and started my lifelong love affair with his books. When I was working for Fully Booked a few years ago, I gave a talk on Dahl to the young students of the British School Manila to accompany a touring Quentin Blake exhibition that was in town. His books are must-haves for every children’s library.

  3. Hi Iya, yup, I’ve read Danny the Champion of the World too. Their poaching method was ingenious! :)

    The books I haven’t read (but plan to soon) are The Magic Finger, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me, I think, although they’re excerpted in the Roald dahl treasury.

  4. The Witches gave me nightmares when I was a kid. (The standard was that I saw the movie first, because my dad was quite the movie buff.) Angelica Houston pulling her wig and face off was scary for a 6-year-old. Add to that changing into an ugly gigantic mouse. Hehe.

    Then again, my Dad compensated with a LaserDisc of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Come to think of it, I got nightmares with what happened to the other kids. I just thought of Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination.” Hehe.

    And Matilda, Matilda. Required viewing back in 6th grade.

  5. I have noticed you don’t monetize sumthinblue.com, don’t waste
    your traffic, you can earn extra bucks every month with
    new monetization method. This is the best adsense alternative for any type
    of website (they approve all sites), for more info simply search in gooogle: murgrabia’s tools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *