I can still recite most of the lines of Matilda by Roald Dahl. It's one of those books that, when you read it, you just know your life will never be the same. I read it over and over, and even listened to the audio book on my Walkman when we went on holidays.
I am an avid Dahl fan, and have his dog-eared collection waiting for when my daughters are old enough to enjoy his prose. I'll start with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and attempt to do the brilliant accents my dad was always so good at when he read to us.
It was interesting to read that an unseen chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has finally been released, 50 years after Roald Dahl's classic children's novel was first published.
The fifth chapter 'Charlie Bucket', from a 1961 draft, describes an extra room in the factory called the "Vanilla Fudge Room," which features a "colossal jagged mountain" made of fudge.
Dahl was born in this month in 1916. As a tribute, here are 10 of my favourite quotes from his books.
"Matilda said, 'Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...'" - from Matilda
As long as someone loves you
"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you." - from The Witches
You are not alone
"So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone." - from Matilda
Nothing is impossible
"It is most unlikely. But - here comes the big 'but' - not impossible." - from The Witches
"If you are good life is good." - from Matilda
Read, read, read
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall." - from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Beauty comes from within
"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - from The Twits
Kids are brilliant
"It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful." - from Matilda
Don't be greedy
"And Charlie, don't forget about what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted. He lived happily ever after." - from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Use your imagination
"The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village." - from Matilda