In celebration of Roald Dahl Day (on Sept 13) I read D is for Dahl. I didn’t have a chance to get out to any bookstores that weekend so I have no idea if there were any local celebrations. I know a few folks in the bloggy world celebrated this great author last week.
The best way that I can describe D is for Dahl is that it’s a tiny encyclopedia of sorts of Dahl’s life, books, characters, and other relevant trivia. Adding to the book’s charm are illustrations by Quentin Blake, who has illustrated a number of Dahl’s books, and is really the only man for the job. His illustrations compliment Dahl’s humor and the character’s personalities. There are recipes for hot-house eggs, kit kat pudding, knock knock jokes as well as an unfinished story. Under Q there is a quiz in which you can test your knowledge. I learned plenty about Dahl. I’ve never read his autobiographical books Boy and Going Solo and so didn’t know much about his life. I have always been aware of his books for adults and short stories, however, I didn’t pick them up. I think now would be a good time to revisit them. I’ve collected the Dahl books that I could find in storage and put them out on my shelves. I even found a short story that I didn’t know I had so I’ll soon read Lamb to the Slaughter.
As a kid I always laughed at how clever some characters were (Matilda for instance) and how ridiculous others were (The Twits). My younger self loved the fact that children in Dahl’s stories were creative, smart, and witty. They could always best the adults who generally seemed to think that the kids were dumb. I would laugh, I would read them slowly so that they wouldn’t end, I would tell the stories to my mom and she would laugh. I don’t remember doing these things with other books. While I’ve forgotten many of the plots of children’s and young adult books that I read, I can still remember these and more importantly I can remember how they made me feel. That’s the magic of Roald Dahl.