Mike Smith's Reviews > The BFG

The BFG by Roald Dahl
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: for-once-and-future-kiddos
Read in July, 2012

The BFG is a wonderfully imaginative kid's book. Best of all it seems a precursor to the Pixar movies that have as much cleverness for the adults to enjoy as the children. I loved the mixed up and invented language of the giants. The words sound fun and goofy and yet Dahl makes it feel like an invented language rather than a giant Mad Lib. The new language is as colorful as the story being told.
It is interesting to see Dahl apply elements from his darker adult literature to a children's book. The idea of plants feeling pain when plucked or cut down is presented more existentially in The Sound Machine when the screams invoke terror rather than just occurring as a curiosity as they do in The BFG. That ability to present dark images and ideas in a lighthearted manner is perhaps the key trick to making this book appeal to children. Schoolboys and schoolgirls are gobbled by the dozens, but because their tastes are puns on geography, the whole ordeal becomes fun. Still, there is a strong anti-war and anti-antisocial behavior stance inlaid throughout the BFG's education of the little heroine. This anti-war sentiment feels authentic and authoritative because of Dahl's experience as a fighter pilot which he also uses to describe the elated feelings of flight little Sophie feels as he runs along with her in his pocket - or ear.
This book is a must read for young and old. Even the Downton Abbey fan will love the descriptions of the Queen, especially her conversation with the Sultan of Baghdad! This book will lift you up with joy faster than a good whizzpopper!
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message 1: by Brenda (new)

Brenda My 3 kids are horrified that I've never read this. Their librarian, Mrs. Shipps, read it to ALL of them in school. Guess I need to catch up.

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