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Search tags: Roald-Dahl
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review 2017-11-08 01:34
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston
Zorgamazoo - Victor Rivas,Robert Paul Weston

I did it! I read this book.


Now you're thinking that it isn't such a big deal to read a children's book. It could take most readers a day or two, but I had the nuttiest inspiration to read this book out loud to myself. I do not live alone and I could only read this when there was nobody around. Plus I could not read for very long periods of times because my throat would start to hurt. Needless to say, it took me a while to read this. I could have pushed myself and read every day, but I didn't, plus I was reading other things too.

I did not expect so much feeling from this book. It really does remind me of Dr. Seuss and Raold Dahl like the blurb on the book says. It also has A Series of Unfortunate Events vibe in the sense that it is a children's book that doesn't sugar coat words. It is very dark and morbid at times. I love this about children books. People do not give kids enough credit and they can handle a bunch more than sickly sweet stories where nothing bad happens, so it is nice to have a series like Lemony Snicket's or this book.

There were times in the book were I got choked up while reading and that came out of the blue. The characters were really well written and I felt close to them.

The only reason it did not get a five star is two bits. There was a point where one of the characters was mean to another character and it irked me quite a lot because I thought she would know better than treat someone that way, considering how her guardian was toward her. This only happened once, so I wasn't bothered enough to stop reading, which I could have been if it continued to happen.

The other bit is some of the writing did not flow as well as a verse should flow. This might be because I'm reading it out loud, but it should roll off the tongue, I believe and be like a song or epic poem. (The rhyming kind.)

Other than that I loved this book and the characters. Even the villains were done so bad that they were good, you know what I mean. Same as the parents in a lot of children books, I disliked the guardian figure in this story, but you are meant to. The author wrote her so creepily well.

Side note, this is the first book I have wrote in, marked up, highlighted since I was a child and that wasn't seen as so taboo in the book community. I don't know if I will continue to annotate my books, but the experience, though frightening, was very fun.

 

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review 2017-10-02 07:32
George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
George's Marvellous Medicine - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine is a very short children's book that is enhanced by Quentin Blake's quirky illustrations. George's grandmother isn't very nice so he decides to make her a new medicine with the hopes of improving her temperament. However, things don't go as planned and George manages to concoct several medicines with unusual properties. This is a funny story that little children will probably enjoy - their grandmother's, not so much.

 

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review 2017-09-26 08:59
Fantastic Mr Fox - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

This is a short, not-so-tame, absolutely hilarious children's story about how Fantastic Mr Fox outfoxes a trio of fox-hungry farmers.  The illustrations by Quentin Blake add to the quirky humour of the story.

 

 

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review 2017-09-21 15:03
THE BFG by Roald Dahl
Bfg;The (Pb) - ROALD DAHL

This is a re-read for me - I had to replace my read-to-death copy of the book recently and decided to read it again.

 

This is an amusing (non-politically correct) children's book about the fascinating adventures of a quirky, lovable giant, his not-so-lovable neighbours, and a little girl.  The illustrations by Quentin Blake also add to the enjoyment of this book.  The text is easy enough for a novice reader to understand (with the occasional big word) but the made-up words might prove a bit difficult, if somewhat amusing when read aloud.  The story itself is also interesting enough to keep an adults attention while he/she is reading it to the kiddies.  There are also bits of morality issues which can be discussed with the children. 

 

My edition of the book has black and white sketches, but I've seen some lovely full colour editions of Roald Dahl's books.

 

 

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review 2017-08-11 09:51
Innocence - Roald Dahl

Without making sweeping generalisations most people have childhood memories that contain Roald Dahl. Many of us will have read at least one of his books, seen one of the film adaptations. Some of us may have memories of devouring all of the books of his they could find, one after the other.

 

I had read Boy years ago and retained a blurred memory of having loved the tales of his childhood, though I wouldn’t have been able to tell you any of those stories. As I read, the memories came back, this time with them, the overwhelming sense of creative mastery. The stories foretell the inspiration behind those works of genius still to come. The testing of chocolate in boarding school sowing the seeds of inspiration for the iconic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the mouse in the gobstobbers perhaps the idea behind The Witches.

 

What is clear from this collection is that the reader becomes aware they are reading work from a fine story teller, one who has indeed mastered the craft. Every part of Boy is fascinating, from the history of how his parents met to how he gained the opportunity to go to Africa through his work. He is quite open with how joyous some memories are, and how difficult other periods of his life were to endure.

 

The other stories in the collection are also interesting to read. The theme of innocence is threaded throughout. This could be the innocence of a bullying victim, the innocence judged on outward appearance or innocence assumed to be lacking in another. Having read Boy first, the inspiration for some of the short stories or indeed on one occasion the possible inspiration for Boy, is apparent. I’m sure there was some cathartic quality to some of the writing but also a lesson being told – ‘this happened to me, just like possibly did to you. I’m still ok, I’ve made a success of my life and you can too’.

 

There are hints of the darker tones that thread throughout his other novels. Adept at show not tell, undercurrents of threat and malice are generated by the reader, whist the story itself may on first appearance be innocent. This should come as no surprise to most readers familiar with Roald Dahl. He is famous not just for his children’s stories but also for his adult fiction such as Tales of the Unexpected and the memorable short story Lamb to the Slaughter. Even his children’s books feature threatening enemies, warnings of the results of being spoiled and situations that boarder on child neglect.

 

Innocence is part of a new collection being reissued by Penguin. Together with Fear, Trickery and War the quartet has been curated with further works by Dahl and by authors he admired and given covers featuring striking artwork by Charming Baker.

Reading Innocence reawakened in me the love of Roald Dahl’s work. Granted this wasn’t love that was very dormant as I am now at the stage of encouraging my children to read his work, or at least have it read to them. As I read more of Boy and the other short stories I realised just how important his stories were to my childhood and the millions of other children who have read his books over the years. The genius of storytelling is, to me, to be able to engage a diverse audience, to hold them rapt, whatever their background. To have your stories told for decades after they were written and for new audiences to fall in love with them. To be able to draw a reader completely into a world that they are immersed. I hate to use the word genius lightly but in Roald Dahl’s case it is a title to which is justly warranted. Innocence is a glimpse into that genius, one that made me want to re-read more of his tales. Highly recommended.

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