Revolting Rhymes

Published in 1982


No nursery rhyme is quite as it seems when Roald Dahl has re-written it...



No nursery rhyme is quite as it seems when Roald Dahl has re-written it. Hungry wolves would be advised to watch their step when Little Red Riding Hood is about - and as for Cinderella's prince, well, let's just hope he keeps his head...

Revolting Rhymes was first published in 1982 and was the first of Roald's collection of comic verse for children. With illustrations by Quentin Blake, Revolting Rhymes sees Roald take six well-known fairy stories and give them a wholly new set of Dahl-esque twists. 

Still much-loved over 30 years later, the phrase "revolting rhymes" even found itself into the Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical. In his song 'Revolting Children,' Matilda composer and lyricist Tim Minchin has Matilda's classmates sing the lines:

"We are revolting children
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs,
Using revolting rhymes..."

The six stories featured in Revolting Rhymes are:

  • Cinderella
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
  • The Three Little Pigs

Find out more about the period in Roald Dahl's life during which Revolting Rhymes was published


The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers.

Roald Dahl 1

Little Red Riding Hood, from Revolting Rhymes

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