It's Roald Dahl Day tomorrow. Here are 10 marvellous quotes from the author

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words”, the BFG tells Sophie in Roald Dahl’s famous tale of a friendly dream-blowing giant.

But gobblefunking is precisely what Dahl brought to children’s bookshelves, pairing his terrific knack of playing with words with inspired fantasy lands full of talking animals, grotesque villains and eccentric heroes.

For many people born after Dahl’s books were first published, his stories were the first taste of the freedom of imagination, and his works have often been cited as paving the way towards a life-long love of reading.

It’s Dahl’s birthday on Saturday 13th September. The celebrated children’s author, who died aged 74 in 1990, packed his books with hilarious nuggets of wit, wisdom and just plain bonkers ideas.

In honour of Roald Dahl day tomorrow, here are some of the author’s best quotes:

“I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest. And if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself.” -Fantastic Mr Fox

“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.” - from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

“The life of a writer is absolute hell compared to the life of a businessman. The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him…A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” - Roald Dahl

“Mr. Twit was a twit. He was born a twit. And, now at the age of sixty, he was a bigger twit than ever.” - from The Twits.

“We’ve got a lovely telly with a twelve-inch screen and now you come asking for a book! You’re getting spoiled, my girl!” - Mr Wormwood in Matilda.

 “If it’s by an American it’s certain to be filth. That’s all they write about.” - Mr Wormwood in Matilda (talking about John Steinbeck).

“The only sensible thing to do when you are attacked is, as Napoleon once said, to counter-attack. Matilda’s wonderfully subtle mind was already at work devising yet another suitable punishment for the poisonous parent.” - from Matilda

“I’d rather be fried alive and eaten by a Mexican!” Wailed the Old-Green-Grasshopper. “Please be quiet,” whispered James. “It’s our only hope”. from James and the Giant Peach.

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” - Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.” - Fantastic Mr Fox


Since Dahl’s death, a charity called Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity has been set up to help support seriously ill children across the UK.

This year it’s also the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl’s estate organises Roald Dahl day every year, and this year it is being celebrated with a chocolate trail at the Roald Dahl museum, and Oompa Loompas are sky-diving to support the charity. For more information click here.

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