Matilda – by Roald Dahl

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mister Magnolia – Quentin Blake

mister

A delightful classic book that needs no introduction. If you have a child around 3 years or need to buy a present for a child of this age, I would recommend this book.

Age : 3-4 years

A lovely picture book by the illustrator of the Roald Dahl books, Quentin Blake.  We have this book for the last 3 years and Mini still loves to pick it up and read it. The rhyme is so funny and witty that I hear giggles soon after she starts reading. Mini loves the silliness and the tragedy of ‘poor’ Mr Magnolia, who just has one boot.
Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
He has an old trumpet
that goes rooty-toot—
And two lovely sisters
who play on the flute—
But Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
A very happy character, Mister Magnolia continues to have fun despite a missing boot. A lovely and light-hearted  piece that ends happily. He gets another boot that does not match his other one but makes him really happy nevertheless.
The book is a delight with lovely rhyming pattern and always brings a smile to our faces.

Cinderella by Roald Dahl

Cinderella

I guess you think you know this story.
You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all soft and sappy
just to keep the children happy.
Mind you, they got the first bit right,
The bit where, in the dead of night,
The Ugly Sisters, jewels and all,
Departed for the Palace Ball,
While darling little Cinderella
Was locked up in a slimy cellar,
Where rats who wanted things to eat,
Began to nibble at her feet.

She bellowed ‘Help!’ and ‘Let me out!
The Magic Fairy heard her shout.
Appearing in a blaze of light,
She said: ‘My dear, are you all right?’
‘All right?’ cried Cindy .’Can’t you see
‘I feel as rotten as can be!’
She beat her fist against the wall,
And shouted, ‘Get me to the Ball!
‘There is a Disco at the Palace!
‘The rest have gone and I am jealous!
‘I want a dress! I want a coach!
‘And earrings and a diamond brooch!
‘And silver slippers, two of those!
‘And lovely nylon panty hose!
‘Done up like that I’ll guarantee
‘The handsome Prince will fall for me!’
The Fairy said, ‘Hang on a tick.’
She gave her wand a mighty flick
And quickly, in no time at all,
Cindy was at the Palace Ball!

It made the Ugly Sisters wince
To see her dancing with the Prince.
She held him very tight and pressed
herself against his manly chest.
The Prince himself was turned to pulp,
All he could do was gasp and gulp.
Then midnight struck. She shouted,’Heck!
I’ve got to run to save my neck!’
The Prince cried, ‘No! Alas! Alack!’
He grabbed her dress to hold her back.
As Cindy shouted, ‘Let me go!’
The dress was ripped from head to toe.

She ran out in her underwear,
And lost one slipper on the stair.
The Prince was on it like a dart,
He pressed it to his pounding heart,
‘The girl this slipper fits,’ he cried,
‘Tomorrow morn shall be my bride!
I’ll visit every house in town
‘Until I’ve tracked the maiden down!’
Then rather carelessly, I fear,
He placed it on a crate of beer.

At once, one of the Ugly Sisters,
(The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
And quickly flushed it down the loo.
Then in its place she calmly put
The slipper from her own left foot.
Ah ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
And Cindy’s luck starts looking sicker.

Next day, the Prince went charging down
To knock on all the doors in town.
In every house, the tension grew.
Who was the owner of the shoe?
The shoe was long and very wide.
(A normal foot got lost inside.)
Also it smelled a wee bit icky.
(The owner’s feet were hot and sticky.)
Thousands of eager people came
To try it on, but all in vain.
Now came the Ugly Sisters’ go.
One tried it on. The Prince screamed, ‘No!’
But she screamed, ‘Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
‘So now you’ve got to marry me!’
The Prince went white from ear to ear.
He muttered, ‘Let me out of here.’
‘Oh no you don’t! You made a vow!
‘There’s no way you can back out now!’
‘Off with her head!’The Prince roared back.
They chopped it off with one big whack.
This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
‘She’s prettier without her head.’
Then up came Sister Number Two,
Who yelled, ‘Now I will try the shoe!’
‘Try this instead!’ the Prince yelled back.
He swung his trusty sword and smack
Her head went crashing to the ground.
It bounced a bit and rolled around.
In the kitchen, peeling spuds,
Cinderella heard the thuds
Of bouncing heads upon the floor,
And poked her own head round the door.
‘What’s all the racket? ‘Cindy cried.
‘Mind your own bizz,’ the Prince replied.
Poor Cindy’s heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?

The Prince cried, ‘Who’s this dirty slut?
‘Off with her nut! Off with her nut!’
Just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
‘Cindy! ‘she cried, ‘come make a wish!
‘Wish anything and have no doubt
‘That I will make it come about!’
Cindy answered, ‘Oh kind Fairy,
‘This time I shall be more wary.
‘No more Princes, no more money.
‘I have had my taste of honey.
I’m wishing for a decent man.
‘They’re hard to find. D’you think you can?’
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after. 

Roald Dahl