Remarkably this is described as the first ‘authorised biography of Roald Dahl written especially for children’. It opens with a description of an interview in which Dahl was asked the ingredients of a good story for children. ‘Above all it must be FUNNY.’ So who better to tell the story of the dreamer, prankster, fighter pilot, spy and hugely popular storyteller than Michael Rosen, whose own award-winning books always put humour at the top of the agenda, and who describes himself (albeit in modestly small lettering on the front cover) as ‘Roald Dahl’s biggest fan’. Rosen explores how the events of Dahl’s life influenced and found their way into his writing, from the beating and bullying of boarding school days (think of Miss Trunchbull), to the myths and Norse legends his mother told him of wicked trolls and monstrous giants (think of the BFG). He recounts idyllic summers spent in the Norwegian fjords, fishing, boating, collecting birds’ eggs, with a clamour of noisy family and friends but always with time to think, wonder and dream. Rosen gets right under the skin of Dahl the writer, analysing just how he builds up suspense and captures the reader’s attention. He includes plenty of examples from the books, and even storylines that were discarded. Matilda, it seems, was originally to be the wickedest child in the world with kind, long-suffering parents. The pages are enlivened by Quentin Blake’s wonderfully inventive characters, Twits, Willie Wonka and Witches amongst them, but there are also drawings of family trees and favourite foods, in addition to reproductions of boyhood letters home, passports, family photos and of course Dahl writing in his little brick hut. Roald Dahl’s life may have been, like his books, nothing short of extraordinary, but this biography belongs in the same category – Fantastic!
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2013-01-01 01:00:542021-11-11 17:23:10Fantastic Mr Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake