Characters to Inspire You – Matilda Wormwood

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Matilda by Roald Dahl. I reread this book last week when I was in bed ill and thought this would be the perfect chance to explain why I think it is one of the greatest children’s books of all time.

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When I was younger the character I connected with the most was Matilda Wormwood. I was a huge book fan and Roald Dahl was my favourite author. He had this remarkable ability to see the world from a child’s eyes and his books had a common theme of children winning over adults. In this case Matilda rebels against her parents by reading books rather than watching the TV like she is told. Not only that but she comes up with a number of schemes to get her own back on her father who treats her terribly. This includes swapping bleach for his hair tonic and applying superglue to his hat so he can’t remove it from his head. She also rebels against her horrible headteacher and makes a lifelong friend in the sweet Miss Honey.

Perhaps the most magical part of this book though is Matilda’s trips to the library and into the literary world.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

This is something I’ve always been able to relate to and it explains the magical properties of books perfectly. Matilda is an excellent role model for all bookworm type children and can perhaps serve as an inspiration for those who are not so inclined to pick up a book.

The film of Matilda was one of my favourites as a child and I still love it now. It’s extremely faithful to the book but, as always, is nowhere near as good.

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I’ve heard brilliant reviews of the musical and really want to go and see it! Here’s a clip I found and it looks truly amazing.

What are your favourite childhood books? Are there any characters you particularly related to?

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Top Ten Tuesday (rewind!) – Top Ten Childhood Favourites

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme ran by The Broke and the Bookish. I always felt like I’d missed out on loads of good top ten Tuesday topics having started so late so this week’s theme is a brilliant one. This week we can choose any of the past topics we like. I’ve chosen the Top Ten Childhood Favourites as reading was a huge part of my childhood. This was maybe the easiest top ten list I’ve ever written.

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1) The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Probably my all time favourite book when I was younger. Enid Blyton is a classic children’s author and I was enthralled with her different lands at the top of the magical tree!

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2) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This had to be on everybody’s list. I’ve never met a child who disliked this book.

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3) The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling

I’ve probably said enough about this series whilst this blog has been going. I was addicted to it when I was younger (down to queuing for the final installment dressed in a cloak and wand!). I still love it now in fact!

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4) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I loved the first few books in this series when I was younger. Unfortunately they can’t have been that great as I never got any further!

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5) The Borrowers by Mary Norton

These little guys used to fascinate me! I read this book so many times that the cover fell off. I think I’ve still got it somewhere actually!

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6) Matilda – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was by far my favourite author when I was younger and Matilda was my favourite character. I always thought of her as similar to me because she was addicted to reading like I was.

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7) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Owning a chocolate factory was every child’s dream. There was more to this book than that though. Willy Wonka was an extremely disturbing character and this book is quite dark when you think about it!

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8) Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

I remember being absorbed in this for a few weeks when I was at high school. I used to carry it around with me constantly and read it whenever I got a chance.

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9) The Witches by Roald Dahl

Yep another Roald Dahl book! This was another of my favourites that I reread over and over again.

309336110) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Another of my favourite series’ from my childhood. As you can tell, I was obsessed with fantasy and magic!

What were your favourite childhood books?