Pros: Funny, very descriptive and imaginative.
Cons: A bit too descriptive for wee ones, can be scary for younger kids.
By gobbles!! I is having a headache when I think of the swiggles of books I will have to buy next week when I go back to classes. I is beginning to get all frobsquabbly just thinking about it.
No, seriously. Im beginning to get giddy to be back in that love/hate relationship with school. Being an English major, I love to read but sometimes when it is forced on me Id rather jaunt off and read fun things fun things like kids books.
With less than a week before classes start, I decided to really let loose, have fun and read one of those books from my own childhood, The BFG by Roald Dahl.
Life was so easy in the sixth grade. No papers to write. Recesses full of tag and better yet teachers that read fun things to you during class!! That 6th grade year, I remember the entire class irrupting in laughter at the way the Big Friendly Giant talks, his crazy adventures with catching dreams and his friendship with a little girl named Sophie.
A Bit More of the Plot
**warning a few small spoilers ahead**
Meet Sophie, shes a little orphan girl who lives in England. One night, really late, during the witching-hour, when shes wide-awake, she looks out the orphanage window to witness the scariest thing any little girl could imagine. She sees a huge monster walking down the street. Worse yet, it spots her.
Sophie is sure shes going to be the monsters mini snack, perhaps an appetizer before he eats a few more humans, but she doesnt get eaten. Sophie gets put in the Giants bag and is taken far away from the orphanage to Giant Country.
When the monster takes her out of his bag for a terrifying moment she believes this will be the end of her. But she finds out different. She wasnt taken by a monster, she was taken by a Giant and although most giants do eat human beans, this giant doesnt. His name is the Big Friendly Giant, or the BFG for short and he is anything but short and he has no desire to ever eat a "human bean".
This friendly and funny talking Giant simply wants to be Sophies friend. Even though he did steal her from her home and since she saw him, he simply cant take her back because humans dont exactly believe in giants. And if Sophie told anyone and they believed her, the BFG doesnt want to be put in a zoo.
Sophie doesn't exactly want to go back to where she lived. After all, who would want to go back to an orphanage? She and BFG quickly become friends and this is the beginning of Sophies education about Giant's, Giant Country. She learns that the only thing the BFG eats is filthsome and nasty snozzcumbers. The BFG hates snozzcumbers but he eats them gladly, just as long as he doesnt have to eat human beans.
And for drinking, the BFG has a lovely and fruity beverage. It is called Frobscottle and it makes you do whizzpoppers! Want to know what a whizzpopper is? Well instead of Frobscottle bubbling upward like soda pop does, it bubbles downward so instead of burping it makes you, um , you get the picture. In fact, whizzpopping is pleasant in the company of Giants. Perhaps they like to try and whizzpop the alphabet? (As a kid, I remember that this part of the book had many laughing conversations out on the playground.)
The BFG is most certainly a good Giant, but the other Giants are a different story. They are beastly and more like monsters, and they are even bigger than the BFG. They sleep all day long so they can rest up for the bedroom window buffet time at night. The mean and ugly Giants eat all kinds of children from different countries all over the world. And the ugly Giants are smart enough to do this without getting caught.
Sophie is appalled and disgusted that the other giants would gobble up children while they are sleeping at night. The BFG feels horrible for all the children but he doesnt want to do anything about it because the other Giants tower over him and already pick on him anyway. Besides, that's what Giants do, they eat humans, all Giants except for the BFG of course.
Instead of gobbling children up at night, BFG spends his evenings delivering good dreams to children by blowing them into their minds through his magical trumpet. He spends his days catching good dreams and putting them in jars in shelves in his cave.
Sophie thinks this is a lovely pastime, but still cannot stand that BFG wont do anything about the mean and nasty man-eating Giants. Can she convince him to help her stop the other Giants and can they get the Queen of England's help?
What I think about it and more fun details...
This is a truly magical story with a ton of imagination. Dahl has made up a new world for the reader when the BFG explains how Giants live and their other abilities, like being able to hear everything going on for miles and miles around. (That would explain the BFGs giant floppy ears!)
Sophie has entered a new territory and is discovering that human beans dont know as much as they think they do. This is hard for her to understand at first, and she is a great example of someone who is very open-minded to new ideas.
Another thing that is fun about this book is that throughout it there are illustrations here and there by Quentin Blake. In the pictures, Sophie is shown in her nightgown, as described in the book and wears big round glasses and the BFG looks like a huge friendly grandpa with big ears.
My favorite part of the book is when BFG shows and explains his dream collection to Sophie. There are dreams for both boys and girls and BFG explains, If I is giving a girls dream to a boy, even if it was a really whoppsy girls dream, the boy would be waking up and thinking what a rotbungling grinksludging old dream that was.
And yes, that is the way the BFG talks. After all, one has to remember that the BFG never got to go school and taught himself everything he knows. In fact, on the jar of each and every dream, and there are thousands of them in his shelves, the BFG has taken the time to label them with a little preview so that he wont forget which dream is which.
How does he know what each dream consists of? With his big ears, he has the ability to listen to them and find out which each one entails.
Here is an example of a boy's dream.
**note to reader: I do know how to spell, this is BFG talk.**
I IS MAKING MYSELF A MARVELUS PAIR OF SUCTION BOOTS AND WHEN I PUT THEM ON I IS ABEL TO WALK STRATE UP THE KITSHUN WALL AND ACROSS THE CEILING. WELL, I IS WALKING UPSIDE DOWN ON THE CEILING WEN MY BIG SISTER COMES IN AND SHE IS STARTING TO YELL AT ME AS SHE ALWAYS DOES, YELLING WOT ON EARTH IS YOU DOING UP THERE WALKING ON THE CEILING AND I LOOKS DOWN AT THER AND I SMILES AND I SAYS I TOLD YOU YOU WAS DRIVING ME UP THE WAY AND NOW YOU HAS DONE IT.
Things to watch out for
It might be a good idea to save this story for the older and more understanding child. To younger child, the descriptions of Giants eating human beans might not be funny but terrifying. This book is definitely geared toward an older kid audience.
Example: Names of the other Giants...Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, Bloodblotter, Childchewer...you get the picture.
Also, one might want to watch out for the bad grammar used by BFG. The BFG's adjectives and nouns are hilarious because he tends to mispronounce/spell words and smoosh words together. As for his verb and personal pronoun usage...yucky. While reading sometimes his talk can slow you down a bit. You have to be in Giant mindset!
I remember laughing a lot as a kid when this book was read in class, but as an adult I am sure I laughed even more. I wont ruin much by saying there is a happy ending and also there are a few not so PC points for adults to laugh about concerning the Queen of England and the different nationalities of human beans all over the world. Most of all this story is a great story about true friendship!
Reading The BFG is a great way to open up your imagination and kick back and relax before school starts up again.
About the Author
Roald Dahl has written other magical childrens books such as, James and the Giant Peach (another favorite of mine), and Matilda.
Want to visit a fun website with more info about the author? Go to:
Thanks for reading!
Title: The BFG
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake