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The Magic Finger

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3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,833 Ratings  ·  896 Reviews
The Gregg family loves hunting, but their eight-year-old neighbor can't stand it. After countless pleas for them to stop are ignored, she has no other choice -- she has to put her magic finger on them. Now the Greggs are a family of birds, and like it or not, they're going to find out how it feels to be on the other end of the gun.
Paperback, 67 pages
Published April 5th 2001 by Puffin Books (first published December 31st 1966)
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Richa The girl; or
Philip and William Gregg's 8 years old neighbor and friend.
Matilda by Roald DahlCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlThe BFG by Roald DahlThe Witches by Roald DahlJames and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Miriam
Oct 11, 2011 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger
No hunting! It is mean! Plus, you never know when your psycho neighbor is going to flip out and and punish you with her "Magic Finger" (does that sound dirty to anyone else?). Better to stay inside where it's safe. Don't answer the door to any kids, or ducks.

This seems preachier than is the norm for Dahl. The magic isn't developed, and we don't spend enough time with the narrator to know her or care about her. The way in which the narrator characterized her magic finger as something outside hers
...more
Ferdy
Not my favourite Roald Dahl, it wasn't quite as magical or memorable as Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, nevertheless it was still a quick, fun story about talking ducks and a girl with a magic finger.
Saoirse Sterling
One of the more unknown of Dahl's stories and one I hadn't actually heard of before, but then I'm not so well versed in Roald Dahl's works as I always thought I was.

It's a good storyline with a lovely moral, but still quite simplified and I think maybe more could have been made of it. Perhaps, because of the theme of guns and hunting, it needed to be shorter for a children's book. It was written much like his others, so there is not much to compare with, but it lacked the whimsy and grace as his
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Sarah
Sep 27, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a girl who punishes a family who hunts using her magic finger. In the end, the family vows never to hunt again. But my question still remains: plenty of people who read this book eat meat, yet agree that the hunters should be punished. But should they? What's the difference between eating meat and hunting your own meat? At least they know the animals weren't tortured or abused. Maybe I'm reading too much into this...
Niina
Apr 06, 2016 Niina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, childrens
Taikasormi kertoo tarinan tytöstä, jolla on kyky muuttaa asioita. Suuttuessaan hän taikoo viikset opettajalleen ja metsästystä harrastaville naapureille siivet. Dahlin opettavaisempiin teoksiin kuuluva nopealukuinen teos sopii 7+ vuotiaille ja se auttaa näkemään asioiden kaksi erilaista puolta. Taikasormi saa lukijansa haaveilemaan kyvystä muuttaa asioita paremmaksi - kyky, jota ainakin itse jäin kaipaamaan omistavani tähän maailman aikaan.
Ceri
Apr 20, 2015 Ceri rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is a short story which can easily be read to a child in one sitting, with lots of pictures. The story is an anti-hunting for sport story, where a family who hunt get an idea of how it must feel to be their prey. My children (aged 8 and 6) really enjoyed this story.
Sara Kamjou
Apr 24, 2016 Sara Kamjou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فانتزی
کودک درونم یک عالمه لذت برد. تقویت دیدن موضوع از نگاه طرف مقابل و اهمیت دادن به پرندگان و حیوانات را عالی به تصویر و قلم کشیده بود.
با تشکر از رولد دال!
Minh Trang
Cuốn sách nhỏ xinh này mang một bài học to hơn kích cỡ của nó, đó là nhắc nhở các em nhỏ (và cả người lớn) hãy biết lựa chọn thái độ cư xử đúng đắn trong khi đang nóng giận.

Cô bé nhân vật chính của chúng ta có một biệt tài thú vị, đó là mỗi khi cô tức giận, sẽ có một nguồn năng lượng kì lạ dồn về phía ngón trỏ bàn tay phải của cô, và nếu cô bé chỉ ngón tay thần kỳ ấy về phía ai thì người đó sẽ trúng phải một lời nguyền ác ôn nào đó. Nếu cô mà là một kẻ tâm địa độc ác thì chắc ai ai cũng có thể
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Angel Gelique
Apr 07, 2014 Angel Gelique rated it it was amazing
What goes around, comes around in this incredible story by the very talented Roald Dahl.
Elliot Chalom
Oct 23, 2014 Elliot Chalom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Picked up this book on a recommendation by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) in the interview of him contained in Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers (and if you see my review of that book, you'll now understand where I was going with that). I decided that given the potentially dark undertones of Dahl's work I should probably read it before giving it to my intelligent, but highly sensitive, 7-year old son. Handler says of Dahl that "All of [his] stories have this ...more
Shanaz Begum
Sep 18, 2011 Shanaz Begum rated it really liked it
I got told by my little cousin to read this book who is in year 5. When I first looked at the book I wasn’t too keen to read the book but I was glad I did. I really like how Roald Dahl keeps the reader engaged into the book, because when the Girl uses her magic finger you want to what happens to them straight away. As a reader I wanted to quickly finish the page I was reading and go on to the next one so I can find out what’s next. At point I had to put the book down but I really didn’t want to. ...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
I read this with my beginner's class and really enjoyed it. The story is very captivating, funny and educating at the same time.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I wasn't terribly fond of this one. Clearly Dahl was going for an anti-hunting message, but the story lacks pizzazz. The illustrations look like a third-grader's work. It would be fun, though, to have a magic finger you could point at people and turn them into animals.
Theresa Flores
Mar 09, 2015 Theresa Flores rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-review
+
- Fun read!
- Hooray for the book's "lesson"--> Killing animals is not good!
- Has its funny moments

-
- There's a missing connection somewhere
- Felt a bit lacking (with the actual plot, as well as with the characters)

Overall, it's still a nice quick read. My niece enjoyed it.
Yosiko
Mar 25, 2016 Yosiko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta historia me encanto, es tan corta pero con un gran mensaje; me gusto la forma en el que Roald Dahl narra esta historia infantil , definitivamente continuare con más libros de este autor.
Kellie
Oct 19, 2013 Kellie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junior-fiction
Simplistic:
This book has an agenda which is anti-gun and anti-hunting. The affected family is taught a lesson by a young girl who cannot control either her temper or her "magic finger". I have seen many farm families in my life growing up in both rural England and rural America. None of these have taken pleasure in harming animals and have considered their lifestyle including hunting as a necessity in feeding their families.

Deeper:
Is it too simplistic to think that there is only one "lesson" to
...more
Lindsay
Dec 09, 2015 Lindsay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
* a book with magic in it *
What a peculiar little short read about a little girl who doesn't like hunting and has a magic finger.
Jessica *The Lovely Books*
Roald Dahl's books are classic and not to mention have so much creativity and imagination that is put into words and pages of fun. The Magic Finger is one that I had never heard of let alone read before now.

The main characters involve a girl and a whole family of hunters. Their names are Mr. Gregg, Mrs.Gregg, William, and Philip. Throughout the book the girl is just referred to as girl and she has a magic finger. The magic finger usually comes out when she is angry at someone; which would have c
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Sameah
Aug 27, 2015 Sameah rated it liked it
“The Magic Finger” by Roald Dahl focuses on a young eight year old girl, called Penny, who uses her ‘magic finger’ to punish the Greg family for hunting. One evening, after a successful day of hunting ducks, the Greg family go to bed only to wake up in the morning to find their arms have been replaced by wings! Their home is overtaken by ducks (whose wings have become arms) and the story follows the challenges the Greg family face trying to adapt to their new lifestyle.

Clearly Dahl is sending ou
...more
Christina
Apr 23, 2014 Christina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Great book for teaching empathy to children! Also, as a pescatarian, I appreciate the point that humans get to walk a mile in the shoes of a bird family. Very clever. I'd give it a 3 for my own personal enjoyment as an adult, but my 6.5 y/o said she thinks it's just as good as The BFG and Matilda. (Also, as a noteworthy side note, I am floored and curious about the fact that a man of his generation had heroines, as opposed to heroes, in all three of those books-Sophie, Matilda, and "the girl wit ...more
Nicolle Del
Sep 13, 2015 Nicolle Del rated it it was amazing
Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger tells the story of a young girl who uses her magic finger to punish people who do stuff she considers to be bad and mean. We are introduced to the Gregg family who enjoy hunting animals in their spare time, this however, angers the girl and she casts her magic finger upon them one evening. The rest of the story shows us the effects of the magic finger and how it turns the Gregg family into four small helpless ducks and turns four ducks into half human half ducks. Th ...more
Azure A
Oct 01, 2014 Azure A rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Coos Burton
No estoy segura de haber reseñado algún libro de Roald Dahl alguna vez, pero lo cierto es que sus historias me acompañaron en gran parte de mi infancia y atesoro lindos recuerdos de éste autor. Tuve que leer "The Magic Finger" para una de mis materias del profesorado, y a pesar de ser una historia super corta, me pareció entretenida y cómica. Es de esas lecturas a las que uno recurre cuando aparece la famosa "resaca lectora". No es nada que requiera demasiada atención, se lee fácilmente en un su ...more
Dominique
Jan 03, 2015 Dominique rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
I have to admit that I'm cheating this week. I'm going to Sweden for the Midsummer Festival this weekend and I'm not sure how much I can read there. That's why I picked an extra short book that arrived by post today. I ordered the full box set of Roald Dahl's children's books and this week's pick was The Magic Finger.

There's not much to say about this book. It took me ten minutes to read it. It's about a girl who, when she's upset, can use her magic finger to change the situation. In this story
...more
JoJo
Jan 06, 2016 JoJo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read this book before. I like it!
Adele Broadbent
May 28, 2015 Adele Broadbent rated it really liked it
This story is told by an eight year old girl who hates hunting of any kind. The problem was that her friends next door all loved hunting and often shot ducks, deer and other animals for sport.
One day the girl is so cross she points her magic finger on them. She’s used it before on a mean teacher (giving her a tail and cat’s whiskers). This time she wasn’t sure what was going to happen to her neighbours (the Greggs), but when they went shooting that day something strange began to happen...

A great
...more
Kimberley
This is another one of Roald Dahl's easy to read books. It follows an eight year old girl (who remains nameless throughout the book) who has magical finger. It predominately follows the second time that she has used her powers, which is when she saw the Gregg family shooting at animals which they do for leisure and this went against her ideals. By using her powers the girl caused a switch in power whereby the Gregg family changed into birds and the ducks into humans. It was during this stage of ...more
Cruth
Dec 16, 2012 Cruth rated it really liked it
One of the wonderful novellas (57 pages) by Roald Dahl with Quentin Blake's humorous illustrations.

First published in 1966, my edition was published 2001.

Basically, "The Magic Finger" is a modern fairy tale with an anti-hunting refrain. As such, while the 6yo enjoyed it, it's probably more 8+ for comprehension without an adult supporting it. (As a very urban Aussie, hunting is not a normal nor regular activity for us. It moves the book into pure fiction for us.)

The story is mostly from first per
...more
Colin McKay Miller
Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger may stop shy of all the avenues it could take to be a fully-fledged kid’s novel, but it’s an amusing short story as is.

When I was a kid, I never thought of a book being a short story, novella, novel, etc.—a book was a book—but now that I’m an adult revisiting Roald Dahl, it’s clear how short The Magic Finger really is. The huge drawings from Pat Marriot also help speed things along (though it’s odd to me how many Dahl works I have where Quentin Blake—the staple I th
...more
Kerrie
Aug 08, 2013 Kerrie rated it it was amazing
This short story focuses on a girl who has a magic finger, which is very powerful. When she becomes angry, her magic finger takes revenge on the perpetrators , ending in disastrous consequences. This humorous story follows the Greggs, who have a rather immoral lifestyle, but when the magic finger is set upon them, everything changes as they are given a taste of their own medicine. Finally seeing the error of their ways, the Greggs emerge as better people and try to right their wrongs. I enjoyed ...more
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Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a
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More about Roald Dahl...

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