Monthly Archives: April 2015

Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 03 -The BFG

LeedsBookClub

theBFG

The BFG

by Roald Dahl

Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
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About the book
Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.
When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
The characters

HUMANS:

THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND

MARY, the Queen’s maid

MR TIBBS, the Palace butler

THE HEAD OF THE ARMY

THE HEAD OF THE AIR FORCE

Andof course, SOPHIE, an orphan

GIANTS:

THE FLESHLUMPEATER

THE BONECRUNCHER

THE MANHUGGER

THE CHILDCHEWER

THE MEATDRIPPER

THE…

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Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 04 – The Twits

LeedsBookClub

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About the book
How do you outwit a Twit? Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything — except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.

Mr Twit hates his wife. Mrs Twit detests her husband. They like nothing more than playing wicked tricks on one another. Sooner or later, things are going to go too far…

Even in real life Roald Dahl was very suspicious of men with beards. He thought they must be hiding something sinister. Michael Rosen, who wrote a book called Fantastic Mr Dahl all about Roald and his stories, remembers that the first time he and Roald met, Roald told Michael’s son Joe…

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Puffin Annual Number One

tygertale

We went out for one of our little new year’s traditions this morning, breaking the tedium of the New Year’s restock and raiding the supermarket shelves for cut price Annuals. Steering the children skilfully away from a Flappy Birds cash in, we came away with the old reliable Beano Book and a reprint of some Topper strips. These have already been demolished, but luckily I have a secret weapon in reserve – the very first Puffin Annual from 1974.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I picked this treasure up in Oxfam last year. The contents read like a who’s who from the golden age of children’s literature, promising contributions from Joan Aiken, Roald Dahl, Tove Jansson, Michael Bond, Raymond Briggs, Quentin Blake… the list goes on.

puffin title

The annual was a spin off from Puffin Post, the groundbreaking children’s book club run by visionary editor Kaye Webb. Open practically any…

View original post 849 more words

Puffin Annual Number One

tygertale

We went out for one of our little new year’s traditions this morning, breaking the tedium of the New Year’s restock and raiding the supermarket shelves for cut price Annuals. Steering the children skilfully away from a Flappy Birds cash in, we came away with the old reliable Beano Book and a reprint of some Topper strips. These have already been demolished, but luckily I have a secret weapon in reserve – the very first Puffin Annual from 1974.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I picked this treasure up in Oxfam last year. The contents read like a who’s who from the golden age of children’s literature, promising contributions from Joan Aiken, Roald Dahl, Tove Jansson, Michael Bond, Raymond Briggs, Quentin Blake… the list goes on.

puffin title

The annual was a spin off from Puffin Post, the groundbreaking children’s book club run by visionary editor Kaye Webb. Open practically any…

View original post 849 more words

My Year by Roald Dahl

tygertale

December: ‘This, as you know is the month when two good things happen. The term ends and Christmas comes.’

In the last year of his life Roald Dahl wrote a diary of the changing seasons, intertwined with memories from his youth and spiky observations of the world around him. My Year is a fine testament to an amazing literary life. Illustrated with some of Quentin Blake’s most evocative watercolours, it stands as one of my favourite works from their partnership. I’m not sure why it’s not better known.

Dahl begins by praising children who send him their own hand made cards and chiding parents who issue a ‘colour photograph of the senders standing proudly somewhere or other surrounded by their offspring. You can be half blinded by the self satisfaction shining out of their faces.’

We then get a guide to the birds in Dahl’s garden, which like everything in…

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Paper Moomins at the Eden Project

tygertale

The Moomins and I have been on our holidays. Not on the Riviera, but to Cornwall and the Eden Project. Paper Moomintroll, Little My, Snuffkin and the Hattifatteners travelled with us from the sunflower soaked fields of southern France to the bountiful rain forests of Malaysia, before encountering their ‘ancestors’ in deepest Africa.

Tove Jansson loved to travel. It informed her work at the deepest level and it’s hard to imagine this woman, whose entire life was bound up with her writing, drawing and painting, ever taking a mere holiday. Like Snuffkin Tove was a ‘traveller’, a term she loved, ‘that beautiful old fashioned word’.

Her early travels were typically eventful. She savoured the precious last moments of peace time in Europe when she spent the summer of 1939 travelling alone to pre-apocalyptic Italy. A particularly thrilling visit to Pompeii provided the basis for one of Snuffkin’s…

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