How- To Give Children Dreams

“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

The BFG is a children’s book written by Roald Dahl. It’s one of my favorite Dahl books together with Matilda. This book was read to us in my second grade by our Finnish language teacher, those few Tuesday mornings were fantastic. The story follows a little girl, Sophie who is orphan girl living in the orphanage. One night, Sophie sees a  giant blowing something through a blowpipe into a bedroom window of opposite street and when giant sees that Sophie is awake, he carries her to his homeland of Giant Country. Giant introduces himself to Sophie as the Big Friendly Giant, “BFG”. BFG is different from other giants, friendlier, he catches dreams and blows them into the bedrooms of children, while other giants eat the children.

“Two rights don’t equal a left.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

I love BFG. It and Matilda are my favorites of Roald Dahl. Dahls sense-nosense language is highly entertaining. BFG calls Sophie norphan. We kow the meaning of orphan, however prefix no- is interesting. There is clearly something missing in Sophie’s life or perhaps it’s a hint of the future. Moreover, BFG and the other giants call human beings, human beans which makes a lot of sense considering their height and their diet.

“A whizzpopper!” cried the BFG, beaming at her. “Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

BFG has great humor. I think there is something that satisfies all tastes of different humor. Language is very humorous and then there are explanations how Turkish people taste like Turkey…and how giants go to Wellington for booty flavour and Panama for the hatty taste.

First I didn’t really like the main character Sophie. She was a bit too know-it-all but I think her character gave nice contrast to BFG. And she told that BFG spoke beautifully and she was very heroic in the end so no complains. It is also more scarier to re-read this book as adult… I mean giants snatch children from their beds and eat them o.O and Sophie ends up in very scary land where she probably is close to starvation and there is no even water (just frobscottle). (In Finnish translation of BFG, I love how they replaced the queen with lady president (after all Finland has never been a monarchy and we had female president too). Maybe this applies to other countries as well? It was nice how translator made it so that you could relate more to the story.)


I’d give this boook 5/5 stars.

“Do you like vegetables?” Sophie asked, hoping to steer the conversation towards a slightly less dangerous kind of food.
“You is trying to change the subject,” the Giant said sternly. “We is having an interesting babblement about the taste of the human bean. The human bean is not a vegetable.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

How- To Read The BFG
1.
Dear parents, dear teachers please read this book aloud to children!  It’s DEFINITELY a book that all children from ages 6-10 will…should love. Perhaps, it’s not suitable for mostyoungest and sensitive ones because beginning might be a bit scary and the fact that giants are eating children.
2.
Dahl fanatics like me should buy this. Otherwise you might want to borrow it first and see if you like it.
3.
I really hope there is no editions without Quentin Blaks illustrations. If so, don’t read it.
4.
It has lot of nice educational messages like human beans are the only species that kill each other, how monsters can be beaten, how different is good, how reading is good :D
5.
If you don’t like childrens books at all but want to get Dahl experience, try ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More‘ or ‘Over to You’.
6.
There’s interesting new movie coming up in 2016…book before movie :)

Happy Easter! :)
XB

                                              Buy the book: The BFG on Amazon

12 thoughts on “How- To Give Children Dreams

  1. bookarino says:

    Ah, the BFG <3 I, too, remember this being read out loud to me in the first or second grade. Dahl is a genius, no doubt about that! As for the translation, I think it's quite common in children's literature to change some of the things so that they correspond better to the culture in which the translation is done. This way the children can better relate to the events of the story and imagine themselves as the heroes or heroines of the story. However, the language play that Dahl does a lot is super hard to translate because the words and places that have the dual meaning in English often don't have that in other languages. Hence the Turkey-turkey joke can be lost in translation. Not to get too preachy about translation, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this post. Next time I visit the library, I'll definitely check the children's section for this! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anastasia says:

      :) We had the best teachers apparently haha. Yes, I think I must be over analyzing the book, I never had read English version before so somehow it was really new for me that they didn’t have Lady President in England too XD I guess translations seldom make it to original level, though of course we all appreciate them for trying so hard. Definitely go borrow it :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bookheathen says:

    I’m probably a bit too old to start on this now, (and my daughter is grown up) – but I do know that Dahl managed to capture all the magic of childhood in his books. Matilda and The Witches are great stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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