Roald Dahl’s Billy and the Minpins coming this autumn

Did you know that the title of The Minpins is changing? According to this blog post from roalddahl.com, a new edition will be published in 2017 entitled “Billy and the Minpins.” The book will also feature illustrations by Quentin Blake for the first time ever.

Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson, said: “The Minpins was Roald Dahl’s final story for children and it is the only one his principal illustrator Sir Quentin Blake has yet to illustrate… The new title is drawn from the title Roald gave to an early draft of the story. We think it’s perfect as Billy is a quintessential Roald Dahl hero and deserves to be seen in the same light as Charlie, Matilda, James, Sophie and all the other child heroes readers around the world know and love.”

You can read more over at roalddahl.com!

‘Way Out Introductions from Dahl

I just discovered that there are a few episodes from ‘Way Out available on YouTube! This playlist collects them all. I have used those videos to transcribe Dahl’s introductions and concluding remarks from ten of the episodes, which you can read through here.

Willy Wonka Prequel Film in the Works!

Wow. The news feeds are full this week with stories that the Roald Dahl estate is working with Warner Bros. to produce a new film about Willy Wonka. No, it’s not the official sequel Charlie and the Great Class Elevator. Instead it’s going to be a prequel story that comes before the events of the first book. It won’t be an origin story, but rather ” a standalone movie focused on Wonka and his early adventures”. The filmmakers are clearly trying to establish a Potter-like franchise, and they think Wonka could provide the hook.

Reaction seems to be mixed so far. Some fans are upset at this happening and feel it somehow insults Gene Wilder’s memory so soon after his death. Others are surprised that the notoriously picky Dahl estate would back the project.

I’m a little ambivalent about this one. Studios are rushing to establish franchises and “cinematic universes,” but I’m not sure if the Charlie books have enough world-building in them to support it. And unlike the Potter example, we don’t have Dahl himself around to bless the extended canon. The author of the initial Variety piece speculated on Twitter whether Dahl had any unpublished writing about Wonka the screenwriter will be able to use. I’d be surprised if that were the case. (The only scraps I’ve ever seen were from excised chapters and later sequels that never got finished.)

What do you think? Are you excited about this project or wary?

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Roald Dahl Day Book Cake

Wow! Check out this amazing Roald Dahl Dahl cake from wackywebsters.

The site is run by Jack Webster, an 18yo catering student in London. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to see his amazing creations. He’s also raising money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, so please donate if you’re able.

100 years of Dahl: Revisiting the magic of Matilda

Roald Dahl’s Matilda is smart, strong, kind, and fiery, but, more than that, an ordinary little girl with a love of reading and learning.

Source: 100 years of Dahl: Revisiting the magic of Matilda

Lovely article about Matilda and how the book touched the author’s life! I was honoured to be interviewed and have some of my quotes included as well.

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

Roald Dahl Day

Happy Roald Dahl Day! September 13, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary since Roald Dahl’s birth. The official Roald Dahl site has lots of information about the day and the many events and celebrations taking place. Don’t forget to check your local news too for events happening near you!

Upcoming Dahl-related performances

Just added some new Dahl-related Theater & Symphony productions to the site, including some upcoming performances in the UK:

If you attend any of these performances, send me an email afterwards with a review!

New Teacher Idea – “If I were a giant…”

Many thanks to the folks at The Book People for sharing a new Teacher Idea: “If I were a giant…” Teachers can download a template for students with prompts to describe and draw themselves as a giant. You can read more about the activity on the Book People website.