Instructions: The giant peach is floating in the ocean but our heroes are surrounded by ravenous sharks. James has convinced Earthworm to act as bait for the many seagulls circling overhead, but his courage won’t last long! As each one swoops, James must lasso it with spider’s web before it pecks poor Earthworm. How many seagulls can you catch? James will tie each one to the peach stem as you go…
How was your Christmas? I spent some time over the break working on the website. The timeline has changed from static text pages to a new, dynamic version that includes images. You can filter it by category as well. I’ve also added over 20 audio books to the site, including several in Czech, Dutch, French, and German.
Did you notice there’s a brand new coat of paint here at RoaldDahlFans.com? The brilliant illustrator Matt Hinrichs created custom illustrations for Dahl’s stories that have formed the basis of the new look. I hope you like it!
Here’s a closer look at Matt’s artwork. Isn’t it fabulous?
Thanks to Trove, I was able to track down another long-lost Dahl essay. This one was written by Roald Dahl himself and it’s called “My Wife, Patricia Neal.” It was published in the September 22, 1965 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly. (I believe it’s the same essay that was published as “Patricia Neal’s Struggle to Live” from the September 1965 issue of Ladies Home Journal.)
I’ve added some scans from the magazine as well as an excerpt featuring Dahl’s description of Neal’s jumbled speech during her recovery, which he later used as inspiration for the BFG’s speech. (I found it pretty shocking that they gave cigarettes and alcohol to a pregnant woman recovering from a brain injury!)
Thanks to the National Library of Australia’s Trove, I was able to track down a Roald Dahl essay that I’d never read before! It’s called “Love”… and it’s pretty cynical. It’s his attempt to give young women advice on the formula for a lasting marriage, but he basically says that it’s impossible to tell when you’re in a relationship so you just have to ask your Dad for advice. 😳 He was 33-years-old by then, and still two years away from meeting his future wife Patricia Neal. Interesting view into his mindset at the time!
The Guardian has a lovely piece by Quentin Blake, talking about how he came to create Billy, the Minpins and the other characters in a new version of one of Dahl’s last books. The new version is called Billy and the Minpins, and it’s available from September 2017. (The older version with Patrick Benson’s illustrations isn’t going away though!)
This Wednesday, September 13th, will be Roald Dahl’s 101st birthday, so it’s time to celebrate! The official Dahl site has loads of ideas for activities:
Download the Roald Dahl’s Heroes Guide and make your child feel just like a hero from the pages of a Roald Dahl story. Hunt for the BFG’s phizzwizard like Sophie, help save the Minpins like Billy, or move objects just like Matilda!