Tag Archives: Roald Dahl

The Witches – Roald Dahl


Penguin Australia

November 2020

ISBN: 9780241438817

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $14.99

Oh yes!! it’s arrived!! the scrumpdiddlyumptious new The Witches on the screen and in the book!!! Thank you so much to Penguin Australia for not only the opportunity to have the brand new edition of the original book with a whizzbanging new movie tie-in cover but the double pass to see the movie! The Kid might be a cool teen but she was still hugely excited when she first saw the trailer for the new movie and it was no disappointment.

Roald Dahl’s subversive dark humour is an enduring hit with children from mid-primary upwards and is a regular ‘go to’ even for older kids. The Witches is one book that totally encapsulates that and has long been a favourite with kiddos of all reading ages and abilities.

We both loved the movie when we rocked up to see it yesterday. Yes, it’s very different to the earlier version (which to be honest was always a disappointment both to fans and to Dahl himself, with perhaps the exception of Mai Zetterling – did you know she lived in Australia for a time? I didn’t!). The new version, directed by Robert Zemecki, has transported the setting to Alabama with main characters of colour – the immensely talented Octavia Spencer and young ‘Hero Boy’ Jahzir Bruno (narrated as the older version by Chris Rock) and the addition of a brilliant Grand High Witch courtesy of Anne Hathaway – perfection! – and always hilarious, hotel manager Stanley Tucci. I loved that the witches and action were edgier and far more attuned (I think) to Dahl’s original intention of this warning to children that evil is real but that those who dare can defeat it.

The new edition of the book may have a new dress on but it is still the book we know and love with all the quirkiness of weird fonts for emphasis and the inimitable Quentin Blake illustrations. Without doubt it remains one of my top Dahl reads. I just love so much that the ‘weak’ can overcome the powerful with enough faith and ingenuity – what a powerful message to share with our readers that is! As Dahl himself said ‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’

This was a package to inspire huge smiles all round – my only dilemma will be whether to add this new edition to my existing Dahl collection or to offer it up as highly sought after prize to my kiddos at school.

You know you will, so I likely don’t need to recommend and please please remember that ‘“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”’ – The Witches

The World of Roald Dahl – with illustrations by Quentin Blake


Penguin Australia

September 2020

Another stunning book from Puffin as the anniversary celebrations roll out and let’s face it, Roald Dahl is a gift that keeps on giving. I know I wouldn’t be the only one to need to keep replenishing RD books as they become increasingly battered due to much borrowing and joyful reading.

This super-fun compendium of activities, facts, quizzes and games will absolutely delight any Roald Dahl fan and with holidays fast approaching (and not much chance of anyone going anywhere) could well be the perfect antidote to the dreaded “I’m borrrr-ed.”

Given that it is Roald Dahl Day during this coming week, I think I’m going to offer this up as a super give-away for our junior school kiddos and feel pretty confident that there will be much finger-crossing to be the lucky winner!!

This will make a superb gift for any small human bean of your acquaintance and if not soon then a terrific present to put away for Christmas!

It goes without saying that I highly recommend it for your avid RD fans.

Roald Dahl Day 13th September

Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Book of Fun – Roald Dahl



Penguin Australia

February 2020

ISBN: 9780241428139

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $14.99

What a legacy Roald Dahl left to us!  His books still remain some of the most heavily borrowed in the library, they are a staple of read-alouds in the classroom and the fun just keeps on coming to one generation after another.

While the long holidays might be over there are bound to be moments when your kiddos are going to moan that they are bored – whether it’s wet weather or some other circumstance – and this scrumdiddlyumptious collection of 365 wondrous activities will be so popular that no one will want to share.

Join Willy Wonka for a tour around the fabulous Chocolate Factory with games, quizzes, puzzles, characters and of course recipes to try out on the family or friends. Just saying, the strawberry-flavoured chocolate-coated fudge sounds like it would truly be worth a go – of course, you might need to fight for your piece!

Thank you Roald Dahl for the richness you bequeathed to us and may the joy just keep on rippling through the years!

Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans



A Brilliant Press-out Paper Adventure

Roald Dahl: Illustrations by Quentin Blake


August 2019

ISBN: 9781760891589

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $39.99

Roald Dahl is really like the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ don’t you think? For decades thousands of children have been eating up his stories which all remain as fresh and funny as when they were first published. New generations continue to relish his often wicked humour and unforgettable characters.

This new scrumdiddlyumptious volume will further both entertain and delight readers with its focus on five of Dahl’s favourite stories with fascinating facts about many quirky or purely vile characters (think Mr and Mrs Twit!) and the superbly creative bonus of being able to create their own ‘magical mischievous’ art through the press-out pages.

It is almost too special to start on the press-outs but I’m dying to see what they will look like when done! A really cute (and sensible) addition is the envelope inside the back cover to store the pieces – good thinking!

My only dilemma really is who will be the lucky ‘golden ticket’ winner to be the recipient of my review copy – but I suspect youngest granddaughter will be the fortunate soul 😉.

This is a simply splendiferous concept book which will make the ultimate perfect gift for any existing or potential fan of Dahl’s brilliance in capturing imaginations.

With Roald Dahl Day approaching it would also make for a marvellous prize for a lucky reader if you hold an event for the celebrations or of course, one to stash away for a Christmas parcel.

Highly recommended for imaginative readers from around 8 years upwards.

Here’s an interesting little video I recently stumbled upon that provides some additional insight into Dahl.

Popcorn Movie Time: The BFG


Last night we were fortunate enough – myself & Small, her little cousin The Divine Miss M and her BFF – to attend a preview 3D screening of Spielberg’s The BFG. Some reviews have claimed it didn’t translate well and if anything was ‘too faithful’ to Roald Dahl’s much-loved novel. I don’t need to explain the plot so will just comment on the movie.

Well this family didn’t find it so. I think, if anything, it is because it is so faithful to the book that it works.

Ruby Barnhill as Sophie is just the right kind of dorky to play the bespectacled orphan with pedantic tendencies who is plucked from her bedroom by a huge but kindly giant.Mark Rylance plays his part as the BFG with an endearing and appealing manner.

The BFG’s fellow giants – gargantuan in size and vile in persona – are suitably ferocious but with enough comedic touches to render them less scary than might be supposed.

The climactic scenes at Buckingham Palace with Penelope Wilton portraying a very Dahl-esque Queen Elizabeth are terrific. And by far the children’s favourite part of all was the frobscottle drinking followed by whizpopping. The corgis shooting up the stairs powered by their own emissions are hilarious – this thoroughly endorsed by Small today. 🙂

If you are a Dahl fan you will approve and if you have young children there is nothing in this that would be too terrifying.

Love the BFG’s cave/cottage and his room of dreams – and the ubiquitous snozzcumbers are truly revolting!

A huge shout out to Dot Tonkin of Random House Australia for extending the invitation!

It was a real high point in our holidays. Make sure you rush out to buy the new edition of the book. Our library will be featuring a Roald Dahl display following the holidays – and of course leading up to Roald Dahl Day in September.