To celebrate Roald Dahl Day - September 13th - M&B has rounded up our favourite 10 Roald Dahl children’s books.
One of the world’s most iconic children's writers, Dahl continues to be loved by generations of little bookworms. From Matilda to George, Mr Fox to the Witches, Dahl was behind some of childhood’s most well-loved - and feared - characters. Here’s our list of the top 10 Dahl books - but there are many more to be discovered and enjoyed by your little ones as their bookshelves grow.
Everyone’s favourite bookworm, Matilda is a young girl trapped in a TV-loving family with parents who refuse to let her read. She escapes to the library to fulfil her love of literature, and finds out she has magical powers… The film and stage show are nearly as popular as this ever-favourite book, sure to inspire little bookworms for generations to come.
Named after his granddaughter Sophie, this is the tale of a little orphan who wakes in the middle of the night to witness the witching hour – and a giant blowing dreams into children’s bedroom windows with a large trumpet. What follows is the famous story of how the BFG – Big Friendly Giant - can take on a pack of nightmares, meet the Queen, and charm the audience with his bottom burps while fighting off the Bonecruncher and Fleshlumpeater, who are intent on eating all the Human Beans…
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Enough sweets and chocolate to make all your teeth fall out, this wonderful story sees little Charlie Bucket meet the bonkers Willy Wonker in his magnificent chocolate factory. Whether you’re a fan of the Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp films, you can’t deny the magical journey this book takes you on. A mainstay of children’s bookshelves, this will teach your child the importance of manners, chocolate, and Oopma Loompas.
The Enormous Crocodile
"Children are bigger than fish,' said the Enormous Crocodile. 'You get better helpings." A great book for little ones, introducing you to the croc who wants to gobble up as many children as he can. Don’t be scared though – the colour illustrations by Quentin Blake will charm you throughout.
Fantastic Mr Fox
Farmers Boggis, Bruce and Bean just aren’t quick or wily enough to beat Mr Fox, the cunning chicken snatcher who moves on to bigger and better thievery, albeit with a sad ending for his tail…
George’s Marvellous Medicine
Inspiring generations of children to mix up lotions and potions, beware of your makeup and kitchen condiemnts going missing after you read this to your little one – they could be ending up in a big pot of magical medicine of their own. George’s story will teach your children what to do with grumpy and grizzly grandmas who need a special medicine every day.
The Giraffe, the Pelly, and Me
Perfect for storytime, the tale of the Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company will take your little ones on an adventure with new friends from the jungle, meeting cat-burglars, endless walnuts, and not forgetting the pink and purple flowers of the tinkle-tinkle tree. Classic Dahl at its best.
James and the Giant Peach
We’d all like to escape from characters like Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, and little James does just that, as he climbs inside a giant peach for the adventure of a lifetime. Once again the little boy in Dahl’s story makes friends with creatures and animals that will spark your children’s imagination.
The story that sparks a thousand conversations about what’s hiding in Dad’s beard… The Twits is classic Dahl humour, with two disgusting adults playing nasty tricks on each other, including worm spaghetti (watch out for that one), until eventually the biggest trick of all is played on them with brilliant consequences. This will make your children look at the birds in the trees outside in a whole new way.
What was more terrifying in your childhood than the child-hating Witches! Disguised as sophisticated ladies, these dreadful characters plan to rid the world of children by turning them all into mice with patented Formula 86. Luckily, Dahl makes sure they get their comeuppance in the end.
Particular mention must go to Revolting Rhymes and Revolting Recipes, which didn’t quite make the top 10.