Given that a week ago today the book industry celebrated Roald Dahl Day which takes place every year on 13th September, on what would have been Roald Dahl’s birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to read one of his four entries in the BBC’s Top 100 Books. Having already read and reviewed Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on my blog I decided to read the nation’s 56th best-loved novel, The BFG.
Unlike his novels Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, both of which have been made into film adaptations starring Hollywood A-Listers including Jonny Depp and Danny De Vito, The BFG has been untouched since the 1989 animated version which, along with the book, has captured the hearts of both adults and children worldwide.
First published in 1982, it tells the story of Sophie, who is snatched one morning from her orphanage by the Big Friendly Giant. He takes her back to his home in Giant Country where she encounters lots of strange goings-on, including child-eating giants and snozzcumbers. The BFG reveals to Sophie that he is the only friendly giant in Giant Country and secretly collects dreams, which he then distributes to the bedrooms of children all over the world. An unlikely friendship develops between Sophie and the BFG in what is ultimately a tale of trust and of friendship.
Known for his ability to both scare and delight readers worldwide, Dahl is the only children’s author to appear four times in the BBC Big Read and having written such an abundance of charming tales it’s easy to see why. In a time when many children are brought up watching television rather than reading books, I’m going to end on my favourite Roald Dahl quote:
“So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
go throw your TV set away,
and in its place you can install,
a lovely bookcase on the wall.”