Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Whoever said that September was a boring month?! Not where Roald Dahl is concerned! September is Roald Dahl’s birth month, and each year around the world, libraries, schools and the like celebrate a very special day, also known as  Roald Dahl Day. This year on the 13th of September, Roald Dahl Day strikes again, marking 105 years since his birth! So let’s celebrate his birthday! But first…

Who was Roald Dahl

He was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of The BFGMatildaCharlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER! For more information about Roald Dahl and his amazing life, click on his “about” and “timeline” pages.


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However if you want to find out and read about his remarkable life, then read Boy, which presents  humorous anecdotes from the author’s childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school, and Going Solo, that tells the story of his adventures as an adult, first in Africa, then learning to be a wartime fighter pilot and discover what led him to becoming the world famous author that he is known as today. 

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Dahl’s life story is also featured in Stories for boys who dare to be different and Before they were authors : famous writers as kids.

Want to take part in the celebrations? Here’s how!

Visit the Roald Dahl website!
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You will find  information about Roald Dahl as well as activities, games and quizzes. If you’re suffering from lockdown blues? Not need to worry, the Roald Dahl website has created a page called Things to do indoors, that might help distract, entertain, or simply keep kids busy right on this page until they’re out and about again.


Create your own Roald Dahl birthday party with food, games and jokes!

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s revolting recipes.

For ideas on creating your own Roald Dahl themed birthday party tea is Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes. “From Willy Wonka’s nutty crunch surprise to the mound of spare ribs consumed by Hansel and Gretel in Rhyme Stew, food has been an essential ingredient in Roald Dahl’s writing for children. Felicity Dahl has created a practical guide to making some of the dishes which appear in Dahl’s books.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhizzpopping joke book.

A party would not be complete without party jokes. ‘This collection of hundreds of great jokes would make even the Trunchbull laugh! Inspired by Roald Dahl’s wonderful world, these hilarious humdingers are guaranteed to raise a chuckle from human beans young and old.’ — From Back cover.


New to the world of Roald Dahl is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to trick a Twit.

A party would not be complete without party games. So for inspiration, why not read How to trick a Twit. “Mr and Mrs Twit love playing tricks and unfortunately they are very good at it. But just imagine if you could trick an actual Twit? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, this book can help you do just that. Packed full of fiendish pranks (as well as quizzes, recipes, fun facts and more), this is exactly what you need to outwit a Twit.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAlso inspired by Roald Dahl and due to be released in October is Never grow up. “A brand new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Inspired by the work of the world’s number 1 storyteller, this picture book is a guide to growing up the Roald Dahl way, with gloriumptious illustrations by Quentin Blake. A celebration of all the tremendous things children have in store – from adventure to inventions, chocolate cakes to rhino poo – along with a reminder that the very best grown ups are those who hold on tight to the kid inside.” (Catalogue). Reserve your copy now!



Read and relive your favourite Roald Dahl stories!

Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of Roald Dahl books, both fiction and non fiction, including Fantastic Mr FoxThe Magic Finger and Danny the Champion of the World for your reading pleasure. Also check out this previous blog post for ideas on what are great Roald Dahl movies to watch.

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 You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s rotsome & repulsant words. 

“This book is the perfect introduction to the naughtiest words and phrases created by Roald Dahl with redunculous language notes. Find insulting similes and learn a load of poppyrot. Use words in a brilliantly disgusterous way”. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsOxford Roald Dahl dictionary.

A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe gloriumptious worlds of Roald Dahl.

“HAVE YOU EVER wanted to know what actually happened to James Trotter’s parents when they encountered an angry escaped rhino? Or how to make the Twits’ infamous bird pie? Well now you can find out, with The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl. The book is a brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, and gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts and posters, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDirty beasts.

“A collection of (mainly) grisly beasts out for human blood, ranging from Crocky-Wock the crocodile to Sting-A-Ling the scorpion. Described in verse with all Dahl’s usual gusto and illustrated in a suitably wicked style by Quentin Blake. Was that CROCKY-WOCK galumphing up the stairs? Is STING-A-LING hiding in your bed? And what foul fate has PIGGY planned for Farmer Bland? WARNING This book contains wickedly funny verse, prickly surprises and the most despicable creatures you could ever hope (not) to meet.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsRevolting rhymes.

“Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after, as well as rhymes about pigs, crocodiles, and tummy beasts.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of syndeticsThe witches : the graphic novel.

“Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world – and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country! This full-colour graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Penelope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format.” (Catalogue).


Where to find more information?

The Olympians: Available on Overdrive

Hey Kids! Did you know the series, The Olympians series is available on Overdrive? So why not check out the collection while in lockdown, be inspired by the lives and battles the Greek Gods and Goddesses and unleash your inner hero/heroine by fighting against Covid-19… by staying home, being kind and reading The Olympian Series from Overdrive.

For more information about the Olympian Series, check out our posts on how the Olympians do battle with the heroes from the DC and Marvel Universe: Welcome to the Arena and  Team Battle 1. Stay tuned for more epic battles and who will when the Olympians vs. DC/Marvel Superheroes team battle.

But as a friendly recap…

The Olympians, by George O’Connor is a series of graphic novels about Greek mythology.

Each volume of The Olympians tells the story of one of the gods, (Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and Hesphaistos) in the Olympic pantheon. Also included in each book is extensive back matter that tells the history behind each myth and resources for further study and critical analysis of the Greek gods, history, culture, religion… Hmm, who would have thought homework would involve reading comics! You can find them all on the shelf at Wellington City Libraries and online at Overdrive Kids.

To find out more about The Olympians, check out the official website. You can also have fun with the activities and learn more about Greek mythology by visiting some of these sites.


image courtesy of syndeticsAthena: Grey eyed goddess.

Check out Volume 2 of the Olympian series, Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess, which tells the tale of the goddess of wisdom and war, recounting her many adventures. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsHades: Lord of the Dead.

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons. Perfect to read just in time for spring. (Catalogue).

Did you know? Hades and Persephone‘s story tells how the four seasons were born. During spring and summer, Persephone resides with her mother, Demeter and therefore all the crops begins to thrive. In autumn and winter, Persephone is with Hades, which would cause Demeter be sad and neglect the crops.

image courtesy of syndeticsApollo: The Brilliant One.

Mighty Apollo is known by all as the god of the sun, but there’s more to this Olympian than a bright smile and a shining chariot. In the latest volume of Olympians, New York Times bestselling author George O’Connor continues to turn his extensive knowledge of the original Greek myths into rip-roaring graphic novel storytelling. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsArtemis, Goddess of the Hunt.

Shunned even before she was born and destined to live a life of solitude, Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, finds power through her skilled hunting ability and mighty bow. She slays those who wish to do harm to the innocent and takes care of the young and helpless. She protects women and young girls, helps in childbirth, soothes, and is unrivaled in her hunting abilities. In the latest volume of Olympians, New York Times–bestselling author George O’Connor continues to turn his extensive knowledge of the original Greek myths into rip-roaring graphic novel storytelling. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsPoseidon: Earth Shaker.

In the fifth installment of the Olympians series of graphic novels, author/artist George O’Connor turns the spotlight on that most mysterious and misunderstood of the Greek gods, Poseidon: Earth Shaker. Thrill to such famous myths as Theseus and the Minotaur, Odysseus and Polyphemos, and the founding of Athens—and learn how the tempestuous Poseidon became the King of the Seas. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHephaistos: God of Fire.

Thrown from Mount Olympus as a newborn and caught by Thetis and Eurynome, who raised him on the island of Lemnos, Hephaistos had an aptitude for creating beautiful objects from a very young age. Despite his rejection from Olympus, he swallowed his anger and spent his days perfecting his craft. His exquisitely forged gifts and weapons earned him back his seat in the heavens, but he was not treated as an equal—his brothers and sisters looked down at him for his lame leg, and even his own wife, Aphrodite, was disloyal. In this installment of George O’Connor’s bestselling Olympians graphic novel series, witness Hephaistos’ wrath in God of Fire as he creates a plan that’ll win him the respect he deserves. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHermes: Tales of the Trickster.

The New York Times bestselling series continues as author/artist George O’Connor focuses on Hermes, the trickster god in Olympians: Hermes: Tales of the Trickster. (Catalogue).

Remember stay safe in your bubble, stay at home and be kind. Kia kaha!