September is Roald Dahl month! I have no idea who proclaims these things, but I’m more than happy to celebrate. Roald Dahl was one of my first favorite authors that I can remember. We had an old hardcover edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory growing up, and I can picture the tattered book jacket perfectly as I’m typing this. As a kid, I really enjoyed how Dahl’s books would respect children enough to be able to handle their sometimes dark subject matter. It’s definitely something that has stuck with me, and influenced my recent attempts at writing for children.
While both Charlie books, The BFG, and The Witches were among my favorites, my absolute top Dahl book is one that I don’t see enough people talking about: The Enormous Crocodile.
It’s about this crocodile that goes around the jungle bragging about how he’s going to eat children, even though all the other jungle animals try to convince him that its a bad idea. He keeps trying to eat kids, and the jungle animals keep saving them. Finally, an elephant throws him into the Sun! (Spoiler alert). I think I was the only kid in my elementary school that checked this book out, and my name was printed all the way down the checkout card tucked into the cover.
Did you grow up on Roald Dahl books? What were your favorites?
Happy Roald Dahl month! Join the celebration (and the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach) on his website!