Happy Children's Book Day! To celebrate, here are some of our very favourite Roald Dahl heroes and heroines
With BBC Culture listing Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as one of the 11 Greatest Children's Books this International Children's Book Day (with Matilda at number 16), today seems the perfect time to take a little look at five of the best-loved heroes and heroines from Roald Dahl's children's books...
Danny is the champion referred to in the title of Roald Dahl's story Danny, the Champion of the World. He lives in a caravan with his father, who runs the local petrol station and has a liking for pheasant-poaching. The world Danny and his father occupy is heavily inspired by the Great Missenden countryside where Roald Dahl himself lived, and the story of the relationship between father and son has delighted readers ever since it was first published.
What I have been trying so hard to tell you all along is simply that my father, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had.
The orphan girl taken from her bedroom window by The Big Friendly Giant in The BFG is named Sophie, after Roald Dahl's first grandchild (although in early drafts, she was actually a boy called Jody.) We love Sophie for her bravery and resourcefulness - how many other children would be prepared to break into the Queen of England's bedroom, even with a giant escorting them?
If we can't save tonight's children, we can anyway save tomorrow's.
Speaking of resourceful characters, George Kranky from George's Marvellous Medicine is another great example. When faced with a morning at home with his horrible Grandma, he decides to teach her a lesson - a marvellous lesson - involving a very special medicine mix.
So give me a bug and a jumping flea,
Give me two snails and lizards three
And a slimy squiggler from the sea...
The hero of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - a much-loved story that celebrated 50 years in 2014 - and its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, is, of course, Charlie Bucket. Charlie is kind, generous, and he loves chocolate almost as much as Mr Willy Wonka himself.
IT'S THE FIFTH GOLDEN TICKET, MOTHER, AND I'VE FOUND IT!
Of course Matilda Wormwood from Roald Dahl's Matilda had to be our number one on International Children's Book Day. Not that Matilda is only interested in children's books - before she even gets to school, she's onto adult classics such as Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. An avid reader who manages to outsmart the horrible Miss Trunchbull? Well, of course we love Matilda.
I've always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn't I?