Today we celebrate the birth of the man who is arguably the best children’s fiction writer of a generation. Roald Dahl was born on 13th September 1926 in Cardiff to Norwegian immigrant parents. After serving in the Royal Air Force during WW2 he then became well known as a writer in the 1940s, initially for his work for both adults and children. He would go on to become a best selling author in children’s fiction.
His much loved stories were known for their dark humour, portraying adults as villains and the children as heroes. He also espoused those of a gentle and warm-hearted nature in his books and underneath the dark humour was an element of tenderness that added to their charm.
I was a child at the time he was becoming so celebrated for his children’s books and he was definitely my favourite author at that time. I was devastated upon hearing of his death in November 1990; the idea that there would be no more of his wondrous books just seemed so wrong and tragic to me. As a child you felt like he really understood your world in a way other adults didn’t, and his genius of making adults into villains helped him resonate with his young audience. As an adult I look back at his work with a different perspective: there’s the nostalgia of my childhood innocence and also seeing just how brilliantly funny his work really is. I loved sharing his books with my own children and have no doubt that one day my Grandchildren will be reading them too.
To me, Roald Dahl truly earned the right to be referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th Century”. Happy Birthday Mr. Dahl 🎂🎉
Question – What are your memories of Roald Dahl and his books? Which is your favourite? Comment below.