Magic Finger Hardcover – Jan 1 2010
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About the Author
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by "The Saturday Evening Post," and so began a long and illustrious career. After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children's stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated. Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including "James and the Giant Peach," "Matilda," "The BFG," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," delight an ever-growing legion of fans. Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A very positive point for this book, is that it's written at about a second-grade level. Equivalent to the "Step 2" or "Level 2" books. It's actually got quite a story, but it's written easily enough for beginning readers to enjoy, which is really great and sometimes hard to find.
I thought the illustrations were wonderful and whimsical.
The story itself might be a little tough for an already extremely empathetic child to read. Since it depicts the feelings of ducks who are being hunted, this might be a sensitive issue for some. Introduce this book to the child of a hunting family, or even just a family of typical meat-eaters and you might find yourself with an angry little vegetarian on your hands! (Especially interesting, when contrasted against Dahl's "Danny, The Champion of the World" - a hunter's hero!)
My children enjoyed this story (and still eat their burgers), but I think for some children, it might raise some ethical problems. Which isn't always a bad thing, of course! But parents beware! This story might lead to a domestic revolt.
Of course, any family of vegetarians won't have a problem with this story at all. And, as another reviewer mentioned, this book can certainly offer some good "empathy" discussions with children.
The curse doesn't occur immediately. The Greggs still have enough time to go out again that day and shoot some ducks. After their hunt, they go home with their twenty birds--sixteen are dead, but four continue to follow them home in the air. Although the Greggs try to shoot these four pests, they can never manage to hit them.
When the family is getting ready for bed that night, something outrageous begins to happen--they're turning into birds. Furthermore, the four ducks who had followed them home have grown as large as humans with arms instead of wings. In the sudden turn of events, the Greggs lose their house to the wild ducks and must survive on their own by building a nest for shelter, searching for edible food, and avoiding predators--especially ones with guns.
The Magic Finger is a wonderful book for 8 to 12-years-old and is short enough (approximately 64 pages with plenty of illustrations) to keep anyone's attention. I really liked the moral of the story, probably since I am a vegan and against hunting. The book isn't preachy, but there's certainly something to learn when the roles of human and animal are reversed.
I thought that the story and the illustrations just didn't quite pull off the theme. It's clearly bad to hurt people's feelings and to hunt, as this story evolves. But what about having a hamburger? The book needs to broaden its message in order to make it clear what is being condemned. I wasn't sure where the book intended to draw limits on what people can do to animals. The illustrations sometimes look like scribbles done by someone in the back of a car that was hitting potholes. I suspect that the intent was to mimic a child's style. I would have preferred choosing a better child artist as a model, if that is the case. The beneficial changes occur because the girl has a magic finger. Well, I didn't have one when I was 8. What should an 8 year-old really do?
When you and your child read this book together, I suggest that you plan to spend some time describing or developing a moral system that makes sense to both of you.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
My personal favorite Dahl story, well liked also by my girls. They will do almost anything (on time too) if I will only read another chapter while they eat breakfast / get in the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by mum of twins
Roald Dahl knows how children think. He knows that children's fantasies are often playfully violent, and he taps into those fantasies to create this other world where anything can... Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by Luis M. Luque
This book is bad
rEALLY SHORT AND BORING
oTHER R.D BOOKS ARE BETTER THATN THIS
i HATE THIS BOOK
The girl in this book has a magic fingershe had it all her life. she uses it when she is angry to teach the people that she is angry at a lesson. Read morePublished on June 17 2003
This is a story about a girl with magic powers and a family that hunts. I liked the illustrations because they were funny. I would have given it five stars if it was longer.Published on Feb. 9 2003
Kids!!... Read this fun and easy book!!! It's about a little girl (she has no name). Her neighbors, the Greggs, love to go hunting. But she hates it. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2002
...>Do you believe in magic? Well, if you read The Magic Finger you will! "The Magic Finger" is about a girl who has a finger that is magic. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2002
Although this story is short, but it is interesting and attractive enough.
This story is about a girl who felt angry with the Gregg family - who liked hunting very much. Read more