By Roald DahlThe BFG looked at Sophie and smiled, showing about twenty of his square white teeth. “Yesterday,” he said, “we was not believing in giants, was we? Today we is not believing in snozzcumbers. Just because we happen not to have actually seen something with our own two little winkles, we think it is not existing.”
I will admit: I have a soft spot in my heart for children’s stories. I love the innocence, simplicity, and pure magic of them. They remind me of a simpler time in my life when the most distressing thing was being told that I had to stop reading and go outside and play. Yes, I devoured books. Teaching me to read was like pulling my teeth, but once I had mastered the basics, there was no stopping me. So it is surprising that I have never read any of Dahl’s books before. Surprising, because The BFG is a truly great read.
The story features Sophie, an English orphan who is snatched one night from her bedroom window by the BFG, Big Friendly Giant. He carries her back to Giant land where he informs her that, for his own safety, he can’t take her back home. Here she discovers nine other terrible giants who travel the world at night, snatching people out of their beds and eating them for supper! Sophie is determined to stop them, so she and the BFG devise a risky plan that just might solve the problem.
The BFG is light and entertaining, but full of sage wisdom. Dahl mixes up just the right amount of adventure, humor, and wisdom, and serves up a platter of lessons that all children need to learn. His creative use of misspelling and wrong synonyms creates a dialect for the BFG that is easy for kids to read while clearly communicating that the BFG is terribly uneducated. Still, the BFG’s dialect does not stop him from being one of the wisest and kindest people that Sophie and other children will ever meet. This story is sweet and thoughtful and will charm readers, young and old. If you have two hours to spend on Facebook and YouTube this week, spend them on The BFG instead. You won’t regret it.