Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Nook - The BFG

A few months ago, I read The BFG, written by Roald Dahl, to the Bachsters......and they loved it.  When I say they loved it, I mean they asked to re-read it immediately.  The very night we finished the story!  Then, after our 2nd reading, they asked to re-read it a 3rd time.  Not only that, but the BFG is in our vernacular now (cucumbers will forever be known in the Bach Haus as "snozzcumbers."  Charles Dickens will always be referred to as "Dahl's Chickens", with a chuckle).

Here's a link to the book on amazon.  Side note: I'm not sure what happened to my handy links with the lovely picture of the books.  I'm still looking into that, but I'm not tech-oriented, so it's going to take me a while.  Sorry!

Anyway, about the BFG.  This is the story of Sophie, a very sweet little girl who lives in an orphanage.  One night, she is lying in bed awake, at the witching hour, and she sees a strange sight: what appears to be a giant carrying a big horn of sorts, and he's using the horn to blow something into the neighbor boys' bedroom while everyone else is asleep.  But the giant is interrupted in his task when he spots Sophie.  In a second, he is at her window, and a very big hand is reaching out to get her.

Sophie is whisked off to the land where the giant lives.  It turns out he is a very nice giant, unlike the others who live in the land: they eat human "beans" every night.  The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) hates this, and he and Sophie team up to put a stop to their evil ways.

I read this story aloud to the Bachsters, and I must admit, it was a difficult book to read, linguistically speaking.  The BFG has a very mixed-up way of speaking, and I found myself tongue tied a lot.  It would probably be very easy to read to oneself, but then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of sharing the book with the kiddos.  Some grown ups might be a little put off by the idea of the giants going off to guzzle the human beans, or the fights that they have among themselves or their meanness towards the BFG.  If you know Roald Dahl's writing, these situations will not be shocking.  My thoughts are that it depends on the child to whom you are reading.  If they are very sensitive, or scare easily, then the mean giants might be too much for them.  My kids were fine with it, including Little Dude, who is 4.

One really nice thing about the book is the rich characters Dahl has created in Sophie and the BFG and their relationship.  Sophie is inquisitive about the BFG and his strange world and he is forthcoming and protective of her.  They work together to solve the problem of the giants, and include a very unlikely accomplice: the Queen of England herself!

Our oldest has a birthday coming up, and she will be getting The BFG.  I have no doubts that she'll ask me to read it right away.  And when we're all finished with the book, I'm sure she'll ask to read it again and again.  It's a keeper!


ETA: here's the official link:

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