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The Witches Paperback – August 16, 2007
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About the Author
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.
After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com
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As an adult, I can report, that it is simply a magnificent story. I can see why I loved it so much as a child. Dahl never dismisses the reader (children) as being inept. Like the Grandmother in the story, Dahl knows children don't require extreme coddling. He's not timid about using fear to tell a great story.
Parent's strive to create a safe world for their children. But that illusion is one that all parents must slowly deconstruct to prepare children for reality. Fairy tales are an integral part of that deconstruction. In fairy tales, monsters can exist in a way that allows children face their fears and walk through those fears to the other side where strength, courage and confidence are found.
"The Witches" is a frightening, yet thrilling read for children. Dahl is a masterful storyteller and in "The Witches" he has weaved imagination, fear and courage into a fantastically fun story that has stood the test of time and remains refreshingly relevant for each generation.
Another boy was also changed into a mouse. His parents are disgusted by him now that he is a mouse. Grandma is very sad that his parents don't love him just because he's a mouse. But Grandma continues to be loving and considerate. She re arranges the house so her grandson/mouse can be safe and independent. She carries him in her purse when they go out. The adventure with the witches is funny and clever but the real story was in the tenderness between Grandmother and Grandson. As the boy/mouse considers his new reality he asks her how long a mouse would live. She is honest as well as hopeful. A mouse does not live as long as a boy would. But he isn't an ordinary mouse so he will live longer than an ordinary mouse.
I liked Roald Dahl before but this book sealed him as one of my favorite authors.
I would recommend that a parent read the story first prior to reading it to their child. There are some scary scenes and the boy loses his parents in a car crash early in the book. I will leave it up to the parents to decide whether their child can handle these concepts.
All in all another compelling read from one of the great storytellers of our time.
I found it an utter pleasure, despite the fact that I am the kind of mother who found Grimm's fairy tales to be much too grim, and censored them for violence, when I read to my young children.
Dahl's fantasy is presented in matter-of-fact, ordinary language as if it were a newspaper story, and that is part of the enchantment. The narrator takes you in and bears you along in a story that becomes ever more fancifully bizarre. When you reach the ending, which would seem bleak if not for the cotton-candy spun delight of the story, you take it in stride.
"The Witches" is not for the literal-minded child, but for children who can understand a story as an exercise in imagination, it is highly recommended.
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PS I had to put up this words cause
it won't let me post this if I don't put more than 20 words also I like bananas.