Craft events this month have been inspired by the Summer Reading Challenge so each week we have looked at the stories of Roald Dahl. We have already designed peaches and foxes and grinning crocodiles…
Children love his acerbic vision, gruesome details and arbitrary flourishes of cruelty—I am thinking of James’ parents killed by a runaway rhino, a satisfyingly grisly end for a pair of goodies. I remember as a child the chilling way the unpreventable accident occurs and how it is dismissed in a couple of lines—the story moves on but the reader’s certainties are challenged. Could I rely on my parent’s continued well-being? Might I be frogmarched off to the strange aunt who ran an off-license in Westbourne Grove?
One of my favourite stories is The Magic Finger and Roald Dahl’s sense of outrage and injustice at the inhuman Greggs family shooting at and killing ducks before the tingling magic finger reverses the roles of hunter and prey. The story that still clings to me is the peculiar nightmarish Swan with its fantastic resolution in The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar. I wonder what favourites have stuck in your minds?
If you’re interested in taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, why not ask at your local library? And we have plenty of activities and events too!