D is for Dahl: A gloriumptious A-Z guide to the world of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl (author), Wendy Cooling (compiler)
Puffin Books (2007)
ISBN 9780142409343
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 10) for Reader Views (2/08)

“D is for Dahl: A gloriumptious A-Z guide to the world of Roald Dahl,” by Roald Dahl and Wendy Cooling, is not a kindergartner’s A-B-C book but a quirky alphabetized biography.  This book is full of fun, humorous, eclectic and even inspirational facts about Roald Dahl.

Despite its unusual format, the reader will be entertained and learn a lot about one of the world’s best children’s authors.  The entries are brief but meaty.   For example, under F there is an entry for “Freezer.”  The paragraph describes how Roald Dahl stretched his shoes by filling his shoes with plastic bags full of water and then putting the shoes in the freezer.  Making the book even more appealing are funny illustrations by Quentin Blake, who illustrated most of Roald Dahl’s books.  There are also photos, a copy of his report card, and a few recipes.

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Great Britain to Norwegian parents.  He wrote twenty-seven children’s books, including the well-loved “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Witches” and “James and the Giant Peach.”  He was very critical of his own work and was only truly pleased with Matilda.  He had an excellent sense of humor and said that his funniest moment was being born.

My favorite part of the book was learning that Roald Dahl loved chocolate so much and the fact that he thought that kids should learn the dates of when all the greatest candies were made instead of dates in history.  He once said “If I were a headmaster I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead.”

I would recommend this book to fans of Roald Dahl’s books.   People who want to be writers would also enjoy this book because it talks about how he got his ideas for books and how he planned his daily routine to get his writing done.  “D is for Dahl” was a great book, and I hope that every one who reads it likes it as much as I did.

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