Jennifer's Reviews > The Twits

The Twits by Roald Dahl
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Book Review on the ‘Twits’ by Roald Dhal illustrated by Quentin Blake

The Twits is a story about an odd married couple who live in a house with no windows. They spend each day pulling pranks on each other and throughout the book each prank gets more gruesome and disgusting. This is a book that I do remember reading as a child and one that I chose to read during one of my placements as a class reader. The children’s reaction to the book was one of absolute delight and joy. They were fascinated by the book and the unfolding story and did not want story time to end.

The book is limited in characters as the majority of the book is based on Mr and Mrs Twits difficult relationship. Roald Dahl describes their appearance in detail. For example when describing Mr Twit great attention is drawn to his beard and how dirty it is due to him never washing it. Attention is drawn to Mrs Twit and how ugly she is with her glass eye. Through this we can really get a sense of how horrid the characters are and feel disgusted with them.

Each chapter is split into describing the different pranks and tricks they play on each other. These include the walking stick prank and Mrs Twit shrinking. All these events are narrated in detail and humour is used to make the book exciting as. I find myself laughing to myself when reading. Roald Dahl uses imaginative words in some areas of the book. These include “I’ll swash you to a swizzle, I’ll knash you to a gnizzle.” This language technique is something that appears through most of his books and helps create sense of an imaginative world that the children can access through reading the book. In other parts of the book Roald Dahl seems to be the narrator and someone who had witnessed and heard of the events. At the end of the book he re-tells how the Twits, due to standing on their head too long had disappeared and how everyone celebrated. By doing this Roald Dahl creates that real connection between him and the characters in the book. In turn the characters and stories seem to be portrayed as real people and real events in Roald Dahl’s life.

Throughout the book there are images placed on each alternate page that show the unfolding events in the book. The images are of pen and ink carried out by Quentin Blake. One of the images shows Mr Twits beard visually represents the text. The text describes all the things that get stuck in his bear because it is so dirty.

This is an engaging story and one that is based on the humorous lives of Mr and Mrs Twit. I fully enjoyed re-reading this book for the book review. I would definitely use this book as a possible class read for an upper KS1 and lower KS2 class. The story is engaging and would certainly appeal to young children and also teachers alike. Not sure how to use the ideas of ‘playing pranks’ or a ‘seriously flawed relationship’ within a wider context in lesson planning but some books perhaps should just be left as stand alone class readers.
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