The Twits: A Set of Plays Paperback – Feb 6 2007
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About the Author
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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I chose it over cable T.V.
The words in the story just tickled me pink,
After a while it made me think,
I'm glad Roald Dahl wrote this story,
If you read it, you won't be sorry.
Action-packed, and full of laughter,
I was splitting my sides just right after.
Page after page, I was stuck in the book,
And if you ask me its better than it looks.
I'm happy I found The Big Friendly Giant,
To read it again, I wouldn't mind it!
By Lori Schneider
This book left me searching for the complete works of Roald Dahl.
The heroine of this little book also carries its name. Matilda is incredibly intelligent, even as a small child. Living with her boorish parents and oblivious brother, she teaches herself to read from the various magazine and newspapers lying about the house. Her parents are completely indifferent to their only daughter and it is only by playing small tricks on them when they've been particularly nasty that little Matilda is able to keep a hold on her sanity. By age five and a half Matilda has read all the children's books in the library and quite a few of the adult ones as well. On entering school for the first time, our protagonist comes face to face with a very worthy enemy. The Head Teacher, Miss Trunchbull, is the worst kind of dangerous violent adult. It is only through Matilda's cleverness that she is able to come to the aid of her teacher, Miss Honey, and save the school from the Trunchbull's insanity.
As I mentioned before, Matilda is just the nicest kid ever. Intelligent without ever becoming pig-headed. Nice without becomes precious. She's just a swell child all around. Through her, Dahl takes some mighty fine cracks as his fellow kiddie lit authors. I was especially fond of the portion in which Matilda points out that though C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are fine writers, "There aren't many funny bits". And as we all know, Dahl is the master of the funny bit for kids. This book is chock full of them too. It contains all the usual peculiar Dahl touches (like kids being swung out of the playground by their pigtails) as well as practical jokes and nasty adults. The Trunchbull is perhaps THE nastiest adult ever to grace the pages of the Dahl world. Definitely unhinged, she abuses the children around her, coming just shy of actual physical contact. It is amazing then that Dahl doesn't dispatch of her in a violent or crazy fashion. She merely...disappears. Likewise Matilda's parents get their comeuppance by merely fleeing the country to Spain. Dahl was quite soft in his old age, it seems.
Reading this book today I was struck by how much Lemony Snicket owes to Mr. Dahl. Not just the usual adults-are-nasty-cruel-and-possibly-batty take, but the narrative voice as well. It took me a couple minutes to realize that this was Dahl talking and not Mr. Handler. Illustrated by Quentin Blake, the book is perfectly complimented by the illustrators' insane imaginings and concoctions. The Blake/Dahl pairing is often inspired, and it works to its best advantage here. I can't imagine this book without Blake's particular little pointy nosed heroine gracing the pages. For those parents who either don't approve of Dahl or just don't "get" him, I think "Matilda" is the perfect story to win them over. You'd have to be pretty hard of heart not to love its little heroine and the troubles she gets into. A charming treat to be enjoyed for years to come.
A total fantasy novel lies behind the mask of a British school tale.
Roald Dahl crossed the line into the utterly unbelievable by making his villains so incredibly bad. It's preposterous, and funny. So while this is a book that prominently features bullying, intimidation, horrible insults, and violent mistreatment of children, it isn't scary at all -- instead, it is funny.
It's the vocabulary words and the quality of the writing that get me. Superb.
As a read-aloud mom, who can read it and share the laughs with my family, I love this book. Still, I have to caution parents to pre-read it before you give it to your children. There is over-the-top anger, name-calling, and violence directed at kids -- and the kids take revenge in dangerous and harmful ways. We treat this the same way we treat Tom and Jerry or Sylvester and Tweety bird -- total fantasy. Don't behave like that. Isn't it funny?
Parents are the best judges. Give it a try.
Parent notes: truly awful name-calling, raging adults, parental abandonment, revenge against adults, mixing chemicals for revenge, lots of Forbidden Words, and a nice message in there about practice gets you to your goal.