Pros: Storytelling at its best, great description of characters
Cons: None - It`s a Roald Dahl book
The farm next to ours is owned by Mr and Mrs Gregg. The Greggs have two children, both of them boys. Last week, something very funny happened to the Gregg family. I am going to tell you about it as best I can.
And so starts the tail of the magic finger as told by the nameless protagonist of the title, an eight year old girl with an amazing secret, she has a dysfunctional digit, a fantastical finger that can inflict untold problems for those that upset her in any way. Just ask poor old Mrs Winter; Mrs Winter no doubt rues the day she decided to pick on the girl in her class, and she must regret chastising the girl when she spelt cat (kat) incorrectly. That familiar tingling enveloped her finger as Mrs Winter called her a stupid little girl in front of the other children means that there is nothing the girl can do to stop the act of putting the finger on the teacher. Almost at once the strangeness began; Mrs Winter started sprouting the most amazing set of what appeared to be whiskers! Gloriously long and shiny, like a cats only much much grander. As the teacher turned her back on the class it also appeared that she had sprouted the bushiest of tails, a tail any cat would be proud of, a tail that poor Mrs Winter still has to this day!
For months I had been telling myself that I would never put the Magic Finger upon anyone again not after what happened to my teacher, old Mrs Winter Poor old Mrs Winter.
The girl has no idea how she came to have the magic finger, perhaps she was born with it, but whatever the origins it would have terrible results if she ever got angry enough to use it. Perhaps the Gregg family thought that because they were next door neighbours and the two Gregg boys Philip and William played with the girl that they were somehow immune to the effects of the magic fingers spell, how wrong they were. When the girl saw Mr Gregg and his two sons walking from the woods one morning she knew they had been up to no good, when she saw what they were carrying her blood began to boil and her finger began to twitch, and we all know what that means. The Gregg family are all catapulted into a scary and threatening episode which will test there survival instincts and change the very fabric of their lives. But then they did upset the girl, and that is never a wise thing to do!
Suddenly I started to see red Then I got very hot all over Then the tip of my finger began tingling most terribly. I could feel the power building up and up inside me
The Magic Finger is yet another beautifully crafted story from the mind of the late Roald Dahl, my favourite author. There are only five characters in the book and each is simply yet perfectly described. The never to be angered girl has a good sense of propriety and as such gets so angry that the finger gets to work, Mr and Mrs Gregg are basically good people save for one disgusting pursuit and the two Gregg boys are friendly for the most part again except for that one bad hobby. The idea of the story is also delightfully clever and yet simple enough to be enjoyed by younger children and adults alike. Beneath the simple story there also seems to be a deeper message about doing to others as you expect to be done to yourself which is not a bad trait to instil in children, but as always this is done in Dahls unique, magical and wonderful way. Indeed I dont believe anyone else would even try to write in Dahls unique manner, or if they did they may struggle to capture the uncomplicated flow his stories follow.
Well, the Magic Finger was now upon the whole of the Gregg family, and there was no taking it off again. I ran home and waited for things to happen. They happened fast.
At 57 pages and with a fair smattering of illustrations from the great Quentin Blake The Magic Finger is not going to take very long to read, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in sheer readability and joyous storytelling as is the norm with Roald Dahl. Four stars out of five from this die hard Dahl fan.
Published by Puffin