Childrens book of the week: The BFG (2)

Two days ago was Roald Dahl’s birthday! With the great writer being celebrated by many, we have been celebrating by reading his book, The BFG. I also wished Roald Dahl a big 1ooth happy birthday Here;  Gone but forever living on in his books.

The BFG is an old-time favourite of mine, just recently Steven Spielberg directed an inspired new feel to the story. The film myself I wasn’t keen on, I was bored and right at the end when it all started to get a bit dramatic I couldn’t watch anymore and left the cinema. Maybe the original film (1989 version) should have just stayed as the only film version, Even when the ‘WHIZZPOPPER’ song came on I was excited, but left disappointed. Maybe I am just an old fart now with less imagination, my nephew who is three fully enjoyed the new film.


The book The BFG, Was dedicated to his daughter Oliva. I want to dig deep into how Roald Dahl must have come up with Sophie’s back ground (being an alone orphan). Many years before the best seller book was published Roald lost his daughter Olivia, she died in November 1962; from cerebral aneurysms. Her death left Roald and I quote “limp with despair”, and gave him a feeling of guilt that he could not do anything for her. ( The Telegraph 2015) Was Sophie’s character a reflection on Olivia? Was he scared Olivia felt alone, that no one could do anything to save her as no one could Sophie when she was taken, when asked in the book ‘I cannot help thinking… about your poor mother and father. By now they must be jipping and skimping all over the house shouting’. Sophie’s reply was blunt and further stated ‘No one is going to worry too much about me. That place you took me from was the village orphanage.’ So in the moment No one could help and no one probably cared about Sophie (as death took her parents leaving them unable to love, help or care about her’ Unfortunate events taken out of their hands, like unfortunate events struck the Dahl family.

Did Roald wish he could have gone to the highest power (the Queen) for her to come in and save all the children (Olivia) at risk of being taken from the world from the unexpected (eaten in the books sense). Was the outcome his dreams of how things should have been, the bad gone and everyone safe… a book is written by a man with true imagination and in there must have been his dreams.  Could the BFG be a reflection on himself when he couldn’t save Olivia, as the Big Friendly Giant also stated to Sophie ‘There’s nothing I can do If I wasn’t a titchy little runty giant only twenty-four feet high then I would be stopping them’. The BFG felt helpless and sad and luckily for him he found the courage to help Sophie go to the Queen and plead for help.


On his 100th birthday the other day Roald’s second and last wife said in an interview on tv, he would go to his shed (place to write) twice a day, three hours at a time. The man clearly had talent and had feelings that possibly showed an influence into his characters, plots and even desired outcomes. I think Logan will fully enjoy the book as he grows to read, he already loves the illustrations by Quentin Blake… ‘monster mummy’ he says pointing at the BFG…


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