Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Magic Finger” as Want to Read:
The Magic Finger
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Magic Finger

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  15,225 ratings  ·  756 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 1966)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Magic Finger, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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
Roald Dahl
17th out of 34 books — 144 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisMatilda by Roald DahlCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlCharlotte's Web by E.B. White
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
173rd out of 462 books — 607 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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.
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...
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.
Shanaz Begum
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.
Angel Gelique
What goes around, comes around in this incredible story by the very talented Roald Dahl.
Theresa Flores
- 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.
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.

Is it too simplistic to think that there is only one "lesson" to
Elliot Chalom
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
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
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
Azure A
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
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
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
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
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
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
'The Magic Finger' is the story of an 8 year old girl who has a special power, whenever someone upsets her she is able to use her 'magic finger' to punish them. The magic finger is one of the fingers on her hand, which glows red when she is angry and zaps the person who has enraged her. She first realises she has this ability when she manages to use her power to turn her teacher, Mrs Winter into a cat after she makes fun of the little girl in the classroom. After this event the girl vows to neve ...more
Nicola Gilliard
The Magic Finger is about a girl who doesn’t agree with her neighbours’ passion for hunting animals. The girl has a ‘magic finger’ that she cannot control. When she gets angry at someone, she points her magic finger at the person and something bad soon happens to them. The Gregg family, the girl’s neighbours, cross the line when they come home with a deer that they had hunted, after all the girls pleas with them to stop their hunting. As a result, the Gregg family bear the brunt of the Girl’s ma ...more
Jenny Mathew
The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl is a tale about a girl who posseses a magic finger that takes affect when she becomes angry at someone. The story depicts a cold-hearted family, the Greggs, who are hunters and have no respect for animals, but once the magic finger is unleashed upon their family they are shown how it feels to be a bird and to be hunted. This makes them empathise, they realise their wrong doings and understand that they should treat others the way they themselves wish to be treated. ...more
Jade Singleton
The story is about an 8 year old girl and her 'magic finger'. The magic finger gives the girl power to transform people and situations. She simply points it at people who have bothered her in some way, and right away strange and bad things happen.

In this book, the girl discovers her special power when in a spelling test a teacher calls her stupid and makes her stand in the classroom corner. She points her finger at the teacher and she suddenly grows whiskers and a big bushy tail. Later on in th
Carolyn S
So far, I just finished the book "The Magic Finger" by Roald Dahl. I always tend to like Roald Dahl's books, but this was one of my favorites. The story was about a family of ducks and another family of humans that switched lives for a day. They both learned different lessons that were very beneficial. I liked it because unlike some books that give you too much detail, this book gave you just enough to understand. And since normally I don't really read that many folktale or fairytale stories, it ...more
Fung Wing
i think this story is very interesting.I highly recommand this bok to anyone because this plot really catch people attention and the words in this book is not too difficult.
Sarah Churchill
Great storytelling as always with Dahl's work, though I can't help comparing it to some of his others (which I enjoyed more). For me this one is just a little *too* moral and a bit preachy, but still fun!
Lai Sin
I think this book is easy to read.
Also , it is interesting story , I am very enjoy to read this book.
Hai Po
I think no hunting is good.Therefore,it won't get hurt.When the girl is angry,she can use the magic finger.
Dahl always make me laugh out loud. I love the way he reverse the roles. That was a lesson the family needed to learn.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 7 - The Magic Finger 1 7 Sep 03, 2014 02:26PM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Review: The Magic Finger By Roald Dahl 1 4 Aug 29, 2014 04:20AM  
Love A Good Book: The Magic Finger 1 4 May 25, 2013 05:08PM  
  • Naughty Amelia Jane!
  • D is for Dahl: A gloriumptious A-Z guide to the world of Roald Dahl
  • The Worst Witch Saves the Day (Worst Witch, #5)
  • I Was a Rat!
  • Please Mrs Butler
  • A Dog So Small
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse
  • Uncle
  • Clarice Bean, That's Me!
  • Bill's New Frock
  • Just Annoying
  • Flat Stanley (Flat Stanley, #1)
  • The Great Ghost Rescue
  • Something's Fishy, Hazel Green
  • Horrid Henry and the Mummy's Curse
  • The 18th Emergency
  • How the Whale Became and Other Stories
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
More about Roald Dahl...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) Matilda James and the Giant Peach The BFG The Witches

Share This Book