How to possibly write a post commemorating one of the most amazing authors of all time, that will actually do him justice.
But I can profess my undying love for Roald Dahl, a day AFTER Roald Dahl Day. Yes, dear readers, I was meant to write this post yesterday, 13th September 2010, on RD’s birthday. Life gets in the way, though, and before you know it 24 hours has past and it’s already the 14th. I hope he won’t mind this belated birthday message – from me to him.
Dear Mr R. Dahl,
This is a half-birthday card, half-love letter, from Yours Truly.
Most people will remember you for your awesome children’s books: The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox. I know I always cross the street when I see a woman with ugly square-toed shoes, just in case she is a witch.
And your collaboration with Quentin Blake (aaah! Revolting Rhymes!) is a particular masterpiece I hold close to my heart, long after the primary school memories have faded. I’ve always wondered: how many people WERE disgusted, when Cinderella’s panties busted?
I know, Mr Dahl, that you tried your hand at some more ‘mature’ works, and I’m sure they are very fine. But my very favourite of yours is a lesser-known picture book, gifted to me very young, by my very favourite uncle. The Minpins filled my childhood nights with dreams of finding ripe red strawberries in back woods, in the Forest of Sin. I wished I was Billy, and I wished I had come across those miniature little people and saved them from the hot breath of the Gruncher. I think you must have known that the monsters surrounded by fiery breath (so you can never get a proper view of what they actually look like) are the scariest of all. I always wished for a pet swan like Billy’s, that I could ride on up into the clouds. And I remember how devastated I was the day Billy got too big to be carried by the swan. I guess girls and boys have to grow up sometime. But still, did you have to put that bit in, Mr Dahl?
In short, I think every child should own a copy of The Minpins, and I hope you don’t mind me marketing it so blatantly on my Boomerang Books blog…
Anyway – what I’m trying to say is – you’re the best. Happy birthday, Mr Dahl. Wherever you are. May your endless days be filled with golden tickets, everlasting gobstoppers, swan rides, and the best strawberries you’ve ever tasted, straight from the forest floor.
Lots of love and blue spit, xxxxxx