An extra-usual talent
Few writers have left such a gloriumptious legacy as Roald Dahl. His books continue to delight and inspire children (and adults) across the world, making lifelong impressions on readers through their wit, originality and underlying warmth. From the magical absurdism of James and the Giant Peach to the outrageous villainy of The Twits to the ingenious antics of Fantastic Mr Fox, Dahl’s tales are perfect for reading with your child and are guaranteed to have you both positively churgling.
13th September marks an annual celebration of Roald Dahl’s unique stories and language, so we have brought together a wacksey collection of free events, resources and activities to honour this most beloved of storytellers.
Roald Dahl Day events
- The Roald Dahl website is hosting the Dahlicious Dress Up Day. Children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite characters and hold a Dahl-themed party, all raising money for charity. You can get started using the enormous Roald Dahl party pack, which includes everything you need to set up your own celebration (as well as creative writing tips, fun quizzes, drawing activities and even instructions on how to make a musical grasshopper!).
- Puffin are live-streaming a Roald Dahl lesson on 13th September at 2:30pm. Speakers include comedian and writer Adrian Edmondson, with his creative writing tips inspired by Roald Dahl, and Rachel White, from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. If you’d like to watch with your child after school, you can find the lesson online afterwards.
- The Young Writers website is holding the Phizz-Whizzing Words creative writing competition. They are looking for stories and poems inspired by Roald Dahl of up to 250 words. The deadline is 31st October, so encourage your child to get writing soon to be in with a chance of winning the grand prize – a golden ticket to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre!
Oxford Owl activities and resources
- You can find inspiration for your child to create their own Dahl-style words in our fun, free activity sheets.
- Want to test your Roald Dahl knowledge? Test your gobblefunk with our quiz, and see if you can tell a whangdoodle from an elefunt!
- Take a look at our Roald Dahl Word of the Week blog post, updated every Friday with a new word that we promise will leave you feeling hopscotchy.
Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
Please note: all book links lead to more information on Amazon.co.uk
If all this babblement sounds like complete wigglish, don’t be flussed – the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary includes definitions of all Roald Dahl’s invented words, so you needn’t be biffsquiggled for long. You will also find the names of his characters and settings, explanations for how he created his words, and rhymes and synonyms to help your child discover more phizz-whizzing phrases.
With real citations from Roald Dahl’s children’s books and illustrations by Quentin Blake, this dictionary is engaging, accessible, and will inspire and encourage young writers and readers.
Our favourite Roald Dahl books
Snatched by the giant from the orphanage where she lives, Sophie is taken to a land where she learns that other giants are not so friendly.
A classic ‘good defeats bad’ story, with the Queen enlisted to help too! If you like Roald Dahl’s invented words, then this book is an excellent place to start.
James Henry Trotter lives with two ghastly hags. Aunt Sponge is enormously fat with a face that looks boiled and Aunt Spiker is bony and screeching.
He’s very lonely until one day something peculiar happens. At the end of the garden a peach starts to grow and grow and GROW. Inside that peach are seven very unusual insects – all waiting to take James on a magical adventure.
Mr Twit is a foul and smelly man with bits of cornflake and sardine in his beard. Mrs Twit is a horrible old hag with a glass eye. Together they make the nastiest couple you could ever hope not to meet.
Down in their garden, the Twits keep Muggle-Wump the monkey and his family locked in a cage. But not for much longer, because the monkeys are planning to trick the terrible Twits, once and for all…
Matilda is the world’s most famous bookworm, no thanks to her ghastly parents. Her father thinks she’s a little scab. Her mother spends all afternoon playing bingo. And her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull? She’s the worst of all.
But despite these beastly grownups trying to push her down, Matilda is an extraordinary girl with a magical mind. And she’s had enough. So all the terrible adults had better watch out, because she’s going to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget!