Today marks 100 years since the famous children’s author Roald Dahl was born. I’ve been on a bit of a Roald Dahl Read-a-thon and I’ve been aiming to read 7 of his books before the anniversary of his birthday. I managed to get through all 7 in the nick of time, and number 4 was “The BFG”. Interestingly, Danny’s father in “Danny the Champion of the World” tells him stories about the BFG, and it’s kind of nice seeing how Dahl’s stories cross over. This book has also recently been adapted into a live action film.
“The BFG” by Roald Dahl is about a little girl called Sophie who lives in an orphanage in London. Unable to sleep one night, she spies a strange giant sneaking around the streets doing something mysterious. Startled about being seen, the Big Friendly Giant snatches Sophie from her bed and takes her back to Giant Land where she makes some terrible discoveries about the other giants. Even though she’s very small, Sophie hatches a big plan and she and the BFG work together to save the children of the world.
This book is a good companion book to “The Witches“. Instead of grotestque women who hate children, you have giant grotesque men who eat children. Instead of an orphan boy and his grandma who save the day with ingenuity, you have an orphan girl and her giant friend who save the day with ingenuity. Also like “The Witches”, this book (despite being a children’s book) talks about children dying which I found quite confronting. Dahl doesn’t baby his readers. Decisions have real consequences, and this book deals with choices between effective action and ineffective action.
Although perhaps not my favourite of his children’s stories, “The BFG” is a robust, funny and at times serious book about how you don’t have to be big to be a hero.