Happy birthday to one of the most imaginative authors who ever lived! Join us in celebrating Roald Dahl's 100th birthday with an excerpt from Boy: Tales of Childhood. Read on to learn more about the author and special events going on through the whole month of September. You can even enter to win a giveaway of the whole paperback collection of fifteen titles and a special edition Roald Dahl tote bag! Make sure you check the links at the end for more excerpts, reviews, and dahliciousness!
BOY: TALES OF CHILDHOOD
About the Book
Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl's tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury's? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed.
Excerpt from Boy: Tales of Childhood
Kindergarten, 1922-3 (ages 6-7) In 1920, when I was still only three, my mother’s eldest child, my own sister Astri, died from appendicitis. She was seven years old when she died, which was also the age of my own eldest daughter, Olivia, when she died from measles forty-two years later. Astri was far and away my father’s favourite. He adored her beyond measure and her sudden death left him literally speechless for days afterwards. He was so overwhelmed with grief that when he himself went down with pneumonia a month or so afterwards, he did not much care whether he lived or died. If they had had penicillin in those days, neither appendicitis nor pneumonia would have been so much of a threat, but with no penicillin or any other magical antibiotic cures, pneumonia in particular was a very dangerous illness indeed. The pneumonia patient, on about the fourth or fifth day, would invariably reach what was known as ‘the crisis’. The temperature soared and the pulse became rapid. The patient had to fight to survive. My father refused to fight. He was thinking, I am quite sure, of his beloved daughter, and he was wanting to join her in heaven. So he died. He was fifty-seven years old. My mother had now lost a daughter and a husband all in the space of a few weeks. Heaven knows what it must have felt like to be hit with a double catastrophe like this. Here she was, a young Norwegian in a foreign land, suddenly having to face all alone the very gravest problems and responsibilities. She had five children to look after, three of her own and two by her husband’s first wife, and to make matters worse, she herself was expecting another baby in two months’ time. A less courageous woman would almost certainly have sold the house and packed her bags and headed straight back to Norway with the children. Over there in her own country she had her mother and father willing and waiting to help her, as well as her two unmarried sisters. But she refused to take the easy way out. Her husband had always stated most emphatically that he wished all his children to be educated in English schools. They were the best in the world, he used to say. Better by far than the Norwegian ones. Better even that the Welsh ones, despite the fact that he lived in Wales and had his business there. He maintained that there was some kind of magic about the English schooling and that the education it provided had caused the inhabitants of a small island to become a great nation and a great Empire and to produce the world’s greatest literature. ‘No child of mine’, he kept saying, ‘is going to school anywhere else but in England.’ My mother was determined to carry out the wishes of her dead husband. To accomplish this, she would have to move house from Wales to England, but she wasn’t ready for that yet. She must stay here in Wales for a while longer, where she knew people who could help and advise her, especially her husband’s great friend and partner, Mr Aadnesen. But even if she wasn’t leaving Wales quite yet, it was essential that she move to a smaller and more manageable house. She had enough children to look after without having to bother about a farm as well. So as soon as her fifth child (another daughter) as born, she sold the big house and moved to a smaller one a few miles away in Llandaff. It was called Cumberland Lodge and it was nothing more than a pleasant medium-sized suburban villa. So it was in Llandaff two years later, when I was six years old, that I went to my first school. The school was a kindergarten run by two sisters, Mrs Corfield and Miss Tucker, and it was called Elmtree House. It is astonishing how little one remembers about one’s life before the age of seven or eight. I can tell you all sorts of things that happened to me from eight onwards, but only very few before that. I went for a whole year to Elmtree House but I cannot even remember what my classroom looked like. Nor can I picture the faces of Mrs Corfield or Miss Tucker, although I am sure they were sweet and smiling. I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me at this distance of the school itself. On the other hand, I can remember very clearly the journeys I made to and from the school because they were so tremendously exciting. Great excitement is probably the only thing that really interests a six-year-old boy and it sticks in his mind. In my case, the excitement centred around my new tricycle. I rode to school on it every day with my eldest sister riding on hers. No grown-ups came with us, and I can remember oh so vividly how the two of us used to go racing at enormous tricycle speeds down the middle of the road and then, most glorious of all, when we came to a corner, we would lean to one side and take it on two wheels. All this you must realize, was in the good old days when the sight of a motor-car on the street was an event, and it was quite safe for tiny children to go tricycling and whooping their way to school in the centre of the highway. So much, then, for my memories of kindergarten sixty-two years ago. It’s not much, but it’s all there is left.
Copyright © Roald Dahl, reprinted with permission from Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House
About the Author
Legendary storyteller Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. While he started out as an adult author, he began writing stories for his children in 1960, which have been translated and have sold millions of copies all over the world. Roald Dahl was a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II; a spy in D.C. where he met Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the first fans of his writings; and co-inventor of the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, a cerebral shunt for children with neurological damage. Dahl wrote screenplays as well, including the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and childhood classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also germinated the story of mischievous creatures of mechanical malfunction called Gremlins. Many of his novels have also been adapted for stage and screen, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, my personal favorite--Fantastic Mr. Fox, and most recently, The BFG. 10% of income from Dahl's books and movie adaptations are donated to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden. You can find out even more about Roald Dahl at www.roalddahl.com.
September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.
Roald Dahl 100 Celebratory Blog Tour Schedule
September 5 - Peace Loves Books - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Excerpt
September 5 - The Compulsive Reader - Danny, The Champion of the World Review
September 5 - The Starry Eyed Revue - James and The Giant Peach Review
September 6 - Ex Libris Kate - The Witches Review
September 6 - Lost In Lit - The Witches Feature - Revisiting The Witches as an adult
September 7 - Cozy Reading Corner - Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Excerpt
September 7 - The Plot Bunny - The Magic Finger Review
September 7 - Lilli's Reflections - The Twits Excerpt
September 8 - The Irish Banana - Matilda Review
September 8 - Ticket To Anywhere - Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 8 - Cuddlebuggery - Quentin Blake's Illustrations of Roald Dahl's Books Feature
September 8 - Beth Fish Reads - Going Solo Review
September 9 - Ravenous Reader - The BFG Excerpt
September 9 - Paper Cuts - The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me Excerpt
September 9 - The Lovely Books - The Witches Excerpt
September 9 - A Glass of Wine - James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 10 - Novel Novice - George's Marvelous Medicine Excerpt
September 10 - YA Bibliophile - Fantastic Mr. Fox Review
September 10 - Watercolor Moods - The Magic Finger Feature - Collage
September 10 - Cracking The Cover - The Magic Finger Feature - Short Review and History
September 11- Jessabella Reads - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review
September 11- Who R U Blog - Charlie and the Glass Elevator Feature - Trivia
September 12 - Belle of the Library - The Twits Review
September 12 - Book Mania Life - George's Marvelous Medicine Review
September 12 - The Book Swarm - Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 12 - Book Belles - James and the Giant Peach Feature - Book to Movie
September 12 - Alexa Loves Books - Matilda Feature - Style Files
September 13- Roald's birthday! - Brittany's Book Rambles - Matilda Excerpt
September 13 - Roald's birthday! - Mundie Kids - The BFG Review
September 13 - Roald's birthday! - Read Now Sleep Later - Boy Excerpt (that's us!)
September 13 - Roald's birthday - Consumed By Books - Matilda Excerpt
September 13 - Roald's birthday - I Am A Reader - James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 13 - The Novel Life - Lessons that Roald Dahl has taught me feature
September 13 - The Book Rat - Esio Trot Excerpt
September 14 - Belle's Bash - The BFG Excerpt
September 14 - WinterHaven Books - Esio Trot Excerpt
September 14 - A Book and A Latte - The Magic Finger Excerpt
September 14 - Hello Chelly - Matilda Feature - BookBags
September 14 - Loving Dem Books - Youtube Feature
September 15 - Writing My Own Fairy-Tale - George's Marvelous Medicine Review
September 15 - The Book Bandit - The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me Review
September 15 - Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile - Esio Trot Review
September 15 - Coffee, Books and Me - Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Roald Dahl's Books
September 16 - Undeniably Book Nerdy - Boy Review
September 16 - Supernatural Snark - James and the Giant Peach Review
September 16 - My Friend Amy - Going Solo Excerpt
September 16 - The Quiet Concert - Danny, the Champion of the World Review
September 17 - Book Briefs - Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
September 17 - Andi's ABCs - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Feature - ABCs
September 17 - Just Another Rabid Reader - The Magic Finger Review
September 17 - Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia - Roald Dahl Feature - Food Feature
September 18 - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales - Matilda Feature - Reading With Dad
September 18 - Addicted 2 Novels - Esio Trot Review
September 18 - Pure Imagination - Fantastic Mr. Fox Excerpt
September 18 - Green Bean Teen Queen - What Roald Dahl Means To Me Feature
September 19 - Bookiemoji - The Witches Excerpt
September 19 - Shooting Stars Blog - Roald Dahl Feature - Etsy Products
September 19 - Nightly Reading - Matilda Review
Buckswashling Nature, Wondercrump Weekend, & Dahlicious Delights
From Sept 1-30, 2016, find nationwide events at zoos and gardens (in Chicago, Dallas, Washington D.C., Memphis, and New York, inspired by Roald Dahl.
To celebrate 100 years of Roald Dahl, fantastical zoos and gardens across the country will be having lots of piggery-jokery fun with educational activities, readings, and crafts all based on the many stories written by Roald Dahl, the world’s number one storyteller. Animals and nature featured heavily in Roald Dahl’s books and his own life, from Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach to his time spent in Africa, which inspired many elements of his best loved children’s stories. These activities will surely encourage chiddlers to tear themselves away from the telly-telly bunkum box! Five zoos and gardens in five cities across the US are participating in Buckswashling Nature.
Buckswashling Nature Partners—*participating in Wondercrump Weekend (see below)
*Memphis Botanic Garden – 750 Cherry Rd, Memphis, TN – September 3-17—This stunning, 96-acre botanic garden will take school children on an exploration of the plants that become candy, read a Roald Dahl book at StoryTime every Saturday, and host a public screening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
*Lincoln Park Zoo – 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL – Sunday, Sept. 18 – 6-8PM—The zoo’s annual DreamNight, a special evening for children with chronic illnesses, will be Roald Dahl-themed along with readings from Peter Kujawinski (Nightfall, Dormia) and Wendy McClure (The Wilder Life, Wanderville). Roald Dahl was passionately dedicated to children’s health; he helped to invent the Wade-Dahl-Till valve and the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity was founded in his honor.
Dallas Arboretum – 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX – every weekend in September—Chiddlers have many squizzly activities to choose from each weekend, from a Roald Dahl Storytime reading in the mornings to testing their taste buds and learning about habitats in the afternoons in the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.
U.S. Botanic Garden – 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, D.C. – Sunday, Sept. 11 – 1-4PM—Roald Dahl may have visited this very garden when he lived in D.C. in the 1940s. Celebrate one of his most well-loved books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by learning all about the Garden’s cacao tree and tasting samples from a local chocolatier.
Wave Hill – 649 W 249th St, Bronx, NY – September 24-25—A serene garden oasis overlooking the Hudson River, this weekend will be devoted to James and the Giant Peach with an entomologist and bug guru presenting live and preserved insects, pop-up book crafts, and an interactive performance with a visiting artist.
*Participating in Wondercrump Weekend
Roald Dahl’s centenary is being honored in September with a splendiferous event called Wondercrump Weekend—a nationwide celebration of buzzwangling parties hosted by whoopsy whiffling eateries, libraries, bookstores, zoos, and gardens. Guests will enjoy tasty treats, read with fantastical authors, and experience Roald Dahl-themed crafts and games at participating locations between Friday September 16-Sunday September 18, 2016.
Throughout September, chiddlers and human beans will guzzle down treats with a portion of the proceeds of all the Dahlicious Delights going to Partners in Health (www.pih.org). Partners in Health, co-founded by Ophelia Dahl, Roald Dahl’s daughter, brings high-quality health care to poor communities around the world. Thirteen eateries are participating in eight cities across the US for Dahlicious Delights.
Dahlicious Delights Partners—*also participating in Wondercrump Weekend (see above)
*Ample Hills Creamery—One of New York’s most popular ice creameries, Ample Hills is creating an apple cider ice cream inspired by Fantastic Mr. Fox to be sold at its scoop shops and in pints nationwide through its website.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds—If there’s one thing that’s better than peaches it’s a James and the Giant Peach Pie from the pie pros themselves, sold at both the 3rd Ave and Brooklyn Library locations.
Baked—Both Roald Dahl and Miss Honey from Matilda loved chocolate. This raspberry jam infused cupcake with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate flakes from Miss Honey’s chocolate box will give anyone who tries it magical powers!
Baked Ideas—Patti Paige is a true artist and will be sharing her incredible cookies on Instagram (#RoaldDahl100) that have been inspired by The BFG, Boy, Matilda, and The Twits.
*Knuckle & Claw—Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, Chloe, shares his passion for food and has now opened two restaurants in Los Angeles with her partner. New on the menu will be a Mrs. Twit Knuckle Roll, a grilled cheese sandwich with worms (lobster), inspired by The Twits.
*Coolhaus—What happens when Bruce Bogtrotter finds himself in sunny California? He trades in chocolate cake for chocolate ice cream! Inspired by Matilda, it’ll make a champion out of anyone!
*The Pie Hole Los Angeles—LA’s favorite pie shop is creating not one but two pies! Customers will enjoy a Matilda-inspired Miss Honey Pie filled with a honey mousse, shortbread crust, and topped with blackberry jam and a Poisoned Chocolate Pie with an infused chocolate cream on a Coco Krispy crust and topped with caramel popcorn inspired by The Witches.
*Milk Jar Cookies—Tastiness and excitement abounds when a James and the Giant Peach cookie rolls into town!
*J. P. Licks—If you can’t get your hands on a Frobscottle drink, come to J. P. Licks for Frobscottle ice cream inspired by The BFG. An ice cream Her Majester would surely love.
Flour Bakery & Café—If you’ve already had scrambled dregs and stinkbugs’ eggs why not try Hornets Stewed in Tar (chocolate caramel with almonds and cacao nibs) from James and the Giant Peach.
Union Square Donuts—Even Bunce, Bean, and Boggis would want to steal this item from under their own noses: an apple and bacon fritter doughnut with a cider glaze, inspired by Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Craftsman and Wolves—Channel your inner Bruce Bogtrotter and get ready to cheekily gobble down an entire chocolate cake inspired by Matilda.
*Voodoo Doughnut—Iconic Voodoo Doughnut is creating a unique doughnut for each location. Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut will enjoy a James & the Giant Peach doughnut with vanilla frosting, peach mango powder, and peach filling, and Voodoo Doughnut Too will feature a Snozzcumber that The BFG would actually like thanks to the chocolate Bavarian cream, vanilla strips, and coco puff warts. In Eugene, OR The Enormous Crocodile will stroll into town as a raised yeast bar with pineapple filling, vanilla topped, and decorated like a crocodile. Watch out for The Witches in Denver—who knows which little child has been turned into a cherry filled, vanilla topped, mouse-looking doughnut. Fantastic Mr. Fox makes a sneaky appearance in Austin as a doughnut topped with maple frosting and filled with Bavarian cream, almond extract and cinnamon.
About Partners in Health
A portion of the proceeds from all Dahlicious Delights products will be donated to Partners in Health, a charity co-founded by Ophelia Dahl, Roald Dahl’s daughter. Partners in Health works with local governments and health providers to bring high-quality health care to poor communities in ten countries. For nearly 30 years, PIH has shaped discourse among global health policymakers and proven what is possible in making health care accessible to all people.