Saturday was Roald Dahl Day. In a guest blog from the Department of Education, Dr Victoria Elliott discusses the author's impact - personal and professional.
|A few personal copies|
For an English educationalist Matilda is a particularly powerful fable. A small girl escapes from her dreadful, anti-education family at first metaphorically through reading and then literally, as she uses her brain power to defeat the awful Miss Trunchbull and rescue her favourite teacher Miss Honey. Education saves lives. And of course, it's every English teacher's dream to find an under-ten reading their way voluntarily through Dickens's works. (Matilda would have no problem with the new requirements for a 19th century novel at GCSE.)
|Roald Dahl from US Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs division.|
Digital ID van.5a51872.
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Perhaps this Roald Dahl Day you might stop by the JB Morrell library and visit the Peggy Janiurek collection to borrow one of his books. If books about brainy kids aren't your thing, I recommend The Witches too. Or James and the Giant Peach. Or Fantastic Mr Fox. Or, for a surprisingly feminist retelling of fairy tales you might more expect to find by Angela Carter: Revolting Rhymes. After all, every Red Riding Hood should keep a pistol in her knickers to defeat the Big Bad Wolf. Although if Matilda had worn the red cloak, she might have come up with a more cunning weapon than that…