Some curious warmth that was almost tangible shone out of Miss Honey's face when she spoke to a confused and homesick newcomer to the class.
"Miss Jennifer Honey was a mild and quiet person who never raised her voice and was seldom seen to smile, but there is no doubt she possessed that rare gift for being adored by every small child under her care."
Miss Honey is Matilda Wormwood's class teacher at Crunchem Hall Primary School. Aside from librarian Mrs Phelps, she is the first person to fully appreciate Matilda's incredible abilities and tries to bring them to the attention of the school's formidable headteacher Miss Trunchbull and Matilda's uninterested parents.
Undeterred by their reactions, Miss Honey does all she can to encourage Matilda. In doing so, the pair become firm friends and it's Miss Honey's own story that leads Matilda to an incredible discovery about the true power of her brain...
Matilda was published in 1988. The story was adapted for cinema in 1996, starring Embeth Davidtz as Miss Honey. In 2010, the RSC's musical adaptation of the story opened in Stratford-upon-Avon. The show, which was written by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, went on to open in London's West End, on Broadway and in Australia.
From 'Miss Honey'
The human brain is an amazing thing.
But does it not intrigue you that a little five-year-old chid is reading long adult novels by Dickens and Hemingway? Doesn't that make you jump up and down with excitement?