5 Reasons To Celebrate Roald Dahl Day
Today, the 13th September, is two exciting things. Firstly it’s the BFG’s 30th birthday, and secondly, it’s Roald Dahl day. Happy b-dizzle Mr. Dahl! So to celebrate the literary genius of a man who inspired both me and my sister to make ‘marvellous medicine’ with all manner of sauces and condiments, much to our mum’s dismay, here are just a few of many reasons why he is one of the best children’s authors of all time.
1. He invented silly words. I don’t know about you but I’d like to give major props for the guy who invented the word snozzcumber. SNOZZCUMBER. Like a cucumber but funnier!? Genius. He also invented words like scrumdiddlyumptious and swizzfiggling – need I say more? He created a language for the crazy world you were invited to share, where you could lick wallpaper and make friends with giants. Not only were these words incredibly amusing as a child, but more recently a friend of mine used the word ‘snozzcumber’ in a dirty context and it works that way too. Always handy to know.
2. Kids rule and adults drool. I really did just write that, you are not imagining things. Part of the appeal and beauty of the books Roald Dahl wrote, certainly when re-reading them as an adult, is that the honesty, clarity and innocence of the world through children’s eyes is so evident. The ability to view the world through a child’s perspective whilst addressing the many downsides of being an adult, with humour, is an amazing thing.
3. Stranger Danger. I had many lessons about not going off with strangers at school but trust me, nothing made me want to run away from unknown adults more than the mental image of one of The Witches in a tree at the bottom of my garden, offering me a snake to play with. That is the stuff of nightmares. I probably should’ve been more worried about men in white vans than glamorous ladies trying to give me things, but still. My old headmistress at primary school had big nostrils and wore clunky shoes, so I was dead certain she was hiding some square feet under there. Thanks for the heads up, Roald.
4. Film adaptations. Due to the amazing imagination of Mr. Dahl, we now have the pleasure of watching many film adaptations, which try their very best to encapsulate the weird and wonderful antics of his world. Adaptations like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda made my childhood, not just because I had a peculiar crush on Gene Wilder (it’s the ‘you STOLE fizzy lifting drinks!’ bit) but because they allowed me to physically see the things I had only been able to imagine in my head. Plus you could have so much fun acting out iconic scenes. Anyone else thrown a pack of cards in the air and danced around to Little Bitty Pretty One by Bobby Darin, like that scene in Matilda? Anyone at all?….Just me then.
5. He named a character after his granddaughter. What greater gift could you ask for from your granddad than to be forever known as Sophie from the BFG? Now that’s pretty cool. I’m sure many girls will agree with me that they wanted to be Sophie and fight off giants and catch dreams when they were a little girl; she was one bad-ass female role model. Sophie Dahl has also inspired many, by being an iconic editorial model, a plus size model, and a contributing editor for British Vogue as well as writing for many other publications. On top of that she has also written three books and wrote and presented her own cookery series, The Delicious Miss Dahl. All because of the BFG, of course.
So those are just a few reasons from a list as tall as Willy Wonka’s factory, as to why this man has shaped the early lives – and in turn the adult lives – of so many. Of course the main reason he managed this was by making reading and education fun, an education without which I may not be writing this and you may not be reading it either. Have a dory-hunky day celebrating Mr. Dahl, and remember the somewhat cheesy yet truthful words of the man himself – ‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’
How will you be celebrating today, and why do you love Roald Dahl? Share with us in the comments!
Written by Hannah Ridyard