We have read Matilda three or four times already, in the last three months. ‘We’ includes Mini with either ‘mumma’ or ‘daddy’. Daddy is usually not at home around Mini’s ‘bedtime’ but I have noticed that when he is, they end up reading Matilda!
I have not blogged about it so far, because it is Roald Dahl for a start. There are fan clubs and plenty of reviews available already, online.
There is a debate about the right age-group and quite rightly. There are elements of violence, swearing and extremely naughty parents, and that is indeed, a scary thing for little people.
Mini will turn six this year and I have debated about reading this book to her, now. I started by telling her what the book was about, about this amazing girl called Matilda and what happens to her. I wanted to warn her in a way, that this book has harsh words. Mini just responded, ‘oh yes, Snow White had a naughty step mother and so did Cinderella!’ They were all cruel to the lovely princesses but in the end, good happens to good people.
I guess, what Dahl wrote, was the same, but in a more urban and modern context. Dreadful things happen to good people, but all ends happily.
Matilda is a very clever five year old girl. She has taught herself to read and has a very advanced reading list. Her parents do not recognise her talents and instead ignores her completely. Mini dislikes Matilda’s daddy who is a ‘crook’ and her mummy who doesn’t care about her child. But the most horrible is the headteacher at school, Miss Trunchbull, who seizes children by their hair and hurls them out of the window. As all children love fairness, Mini wants fairness for Matilda.
Mini is not aware of bullying in real life yet, but I am sure, children do come across bullies in some form or the other. What the children really want to do is to get back to those people and punish them. Matilda does exactly that! When her father rips off her favourite books and calls her a liar, she does not run away crying. Instead, Matilda plays tricks on him. She manages to glue a hat on his head with super glue, dyes his hair and scares the life out by making a parrot speak like a ghost in the living room. When it came to Miss Trunchbull, Matilda uses her super telekinetic powers, unknown to her! It is all about standing up against the evil.
Mini feels for Matilda and falls in love with her teacher, Miss Honey. Miss Honey is very poor but very kind hearted and Matilda later learns how she has been mistreated over the years. In the end , Mini is very glad that Matilda starts living with Miss Honey and her parents lets Matilda go.
What excites me are the odd lovely rhymes and funny verse. It is very hard not to smile at the lovely mix of humour, adventure and mystery. The names are pretty good as well, Wormwood, Trunchbull and Honey; we can easily distinguish between the good and the evil…I think.
Matilda is Roald Dahl at his best with the best illustrations ever ! .
We have booked tickets to go and see the musical, in a few months time. Mini is counting down.