Making Matilda’s Library a little more magical

Posted by
Maria Blyzinsky, The Roald Dahl Museum
Posted on
10:00am, 7th August
Danny, Matilda, Museum, The BFG
Matilda quotation at Great Missenden Library

Roald Dahl quotations trail now in place in Great Missenden Library

What’s your favourite line from a Roald Dahl book?

Perhaps it is this one from Danny the Champion of the World:
“Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.”

Or these wise words from The BFG:
“Dreams is full of mystery and magic… do not try to understand them.”

Or this lovely thought from The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me:
“No book ever ends when it’s full of your friends.”

Now there’s a chance to enjoy some of Roald Dahl’s most marvellous quotations in a new installation at the local Library in Great Missenden, just a few minutes stroll from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Roald Dahl super-fans will already know that this is the library visited by Matilda Wormwood. It’s where Matilda reads books every afternoon while her mother plays Bingo.

After reading all the children’s books, the brilliant Matilda (who is only four years old) asks Mrs Phelps the librarian for “a really good one that grown-ups read”. Mrs Phelps guides Matilda through some classic stories by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Ernest Hemingway. When Matilda says she didn’t understand everything Mr Hemingway says, Mrs Phelps gives her some wonderful advice to not worry about the bits she can’t understand, “just sit back and let the words wash around you like music”. We have turned this into a fabulous 3D installation above the children’s section in the Library. 

Roald Dahl quotes at Great Missenden Library

In the Library, you can now find Roald Dahl quotations hanging from the ceiling on posters, in bright pairs of bookends, and hidden in special boxes disguised as big fat books. 

Roald Dahl quotes at Great Missenden Library Roald Dahl quotes at Great Missenden Library

If you’re coming to the Museum, it’s easy to include a trip to the Library on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and hunt out all these terrific quotations – Library opening times can be found on the Buckinghamshire County Council website.

There are 26 Roald Dahl quotations to discover in all. Some are easy to spot because they are right in front of your nose, while others are tucked onto the shelves in the most unlikely places: from romance and cookery to art and biography. And just so you know, two of the 26 quotations are in the archway to the Museum! Not many people will find them all... but as Matilda would tell you, time in a Library is always time well spent. 

Thanks to our colleagues at Buckinghamshire County Libraries for their support in this project. 

Roald Dahl quotations at Great Missenden Library