Writing a Roald Dahl Books List is a very troublesome task, the difficulty lies in organizing a suitable and yet fair ranking. I must call upon my eight year old self, don’t worry readers she will not be busy, more than likely sitting in a corner reading a acim and giggling away to herself. So, when it comes to the magnificent work of Roald Dahl, I just need to ask, what did his stories truly mean to me? What stories always left me in a fit of laughter? What stories and words repulsed me to the point of doing a very, very unattractive face while reading? What stories made me crave mischief and adventure? And most importantly, who were the characters that made me feel so safe and that I belonged?
In case you were robbed of a childhood and missed out on the weird and wonderful world of Dahl, here is a list of my all time favourites. All books displayed below are from my childhood and will always have a place in my heart.
The Minpins was my first Roald Dahl story so it arguably deserves a place in my Roald Dahl Books List. I was introduced to the story in Primary school. We were all ushered outside for story time and Mrs Taylor sat down and all of us children gathered round and took a seat on the grass. The story’s magnificent description of forestry and Little Billy’s surroundings, made sitting outside become a part of the story. The tale is about a young boy called Little Billy who is told to never go into the forest opposite his home. He is warned of a vicious monsters but his hunger for the luscious wild strawberries entices him into the forest. It is during his adventure he duels a monster, rides a swan and befriends the Minpins.
The rhythmical language made the storytelling fun and gave us the children a chance to interact. I remember whenever we read along and recognized a rhyme, we were allowed to shout it out. With characters such as Little Billy and Don Mini, it was a very noisy story time. The rhythm within Dahl’s writing is what first entertained me, within his rhymes, repetition and alliteration a child will never get bored of the creative word play. My favourites were the “Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher” and the “Terrible Bloodsuckling Toothpluckling Stonechuckling Spittler”. It’s filled with so many fun made up words; something that always will be a part of Dahl’s brilliant charm. This story was published in 1991 just after Dahl’s death in November 1990 and is one of his fewer book not illustrated by Quentin Blake. Patrick Benson’s illustrations are beautiful and fills the pages with different various shades of greens and browns. The illustrations fit the tone of the book perfectly. It is believed that The Minpins was Roald Dahl’s last contribution to Children’s literature.
Danny the Champion of the World managed to squeeze its way into my Roald Dahl Books List based on its sentimental family values. The story was originally published in 1975 and adapted into a TV movie in 1989. Danny is a young boy who absolutely adores his dad in every way, being raised by him alone, he is his hero. They live in a blue caravan and live a happy and peaceful life until one day Danny learns that his dad has been breaking the law. They work together and attempt to pull off a daring and devilish plot against the wealthy and horrible, red faced Mr Victor Hazell.
I remember reading this book and wishing I could have the opportunity to go hunting for Pheasants. The story’s play on family bonding and developing father and son relationships is very touching. I have recently re-read this book and with no longer having my Dad in my life, reading made me appreciate my own memories a lot more. My favourite part of the story is how in awe Danny is of his Dad. When reading the story you truly believe in his appreciation and respect towards his hero. Roald Dahl never had a father growing up so I wonder if this story was based on how great he was of a dad or whether he created a character based upon his perfect idea of who his dad was. Lastly it is this story that carries one of my favourite Roald Dahl quotes,