One hundred years ago today the author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, South Wales. A man I consider to be the greatest children’s storyteller of his generation. Encouraged by C S Forester, who he met on active service during World War II, he began by writing short stories for grown-ups – I remember as a youngster being glued to the TV watching, Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected. I still own a copy of his complete short stories. Dahl also wrote successful novels and even co-wrote the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. However, there’s no doubting, his children’s books are his enduring legacy.
The secret of his success…? In truth, there was no secret. Quite simply, he wrote children’s books for children. He had a uniquely inventive child’s eye, and created his stories in a language that was only ever meant for them! (A talent you either have or don’t have.) Who has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda (my own personal favourite), The Twits or Fantastic Mr Fox and not been thoroughly delighted? And if you have not, perhaps it is time for you to look inside yourself and find your own child-within.
Happy Birthday Roald Dahl. And many whizzpopping returns.