February 22, 2016

Book Review - The BFG by Roald Dahl


by Roald Dahl

"A whizzpopper!" cried the BFG, beaming at her. "Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?"

Without question, my favorite Roald Dahl books growing up were The BFG and Danny, Champion of the World. While I devotedly read all of his books, I read and reread these two the most by far. How could I help but love books about a dream-bestowing, odd-talking giant and a young boy who grew up in a gypsy wagon? A couple of months ago when I found out The BFG is hitting the big screen later this year, I reread it once again.

You read that correctly. In case you were not aware, Steven Spielberg is adapting the children's story to film and it's set for release July 1, 2016. Yay! Mark Rylance will voice the Big Friendly Giant, and other actors include Tom Hardy, Bill Hader, and Jemaine Clement--quite the cast! You can watch the teaser-trailer here.

The BFG is the story of a young, orphaned English girl named Sophie. Life in the orphanage is lonely until one night Sophie spies a very thin, large-eared giant moving from window to window. He carries a suitcase full of glass jars and at each window selects one, pours the sweet-smelling, multi-colored contents into a long trumpet he uses to disperse the ethereal matter into these bedrooms. When the BFG realizes he's been seen, he snatches up Sophie, places her in his shirt pocket, and runs away with her to the land of giants.

Lucky for Sophie, her kidnapper turns out to be her new best friend, a hilarious, kind, and backwards giant who confesses it's dreams he sends into children's nighttime fantasies. The more we learn about the BFG, the funnier the story grows. Just like Sophie in the orphanage, the BFG sticks out of his own community because he refuses to eat humans. Instead, he gobbles "repulsant" snozzcumbers and guzzles delicious frobscottle that cause the drinker to emit hilariously loud whizzpoppers. If you didn't catch all of that, the BFG's vocabulary gets a little mixed up which adds to the fun. As he says, "What I mean and what I say are two different things."

Life in giant country is dangerous. The BFG tells Sophie about the child-eating giants Bloodbottler, Bonecruncher, Fleshlumpeater, and others. When they learn the giants are going to gobble up children all across the country, Sophie and the BFG devise a plan to save the world.

The story is at its best when it's at its silliest. Like all Roald Dahl stories, it stands the test of time and invites readers to embrace the fun. I'm excited for the movie to come out because I hope it prompts kids and parents alike to pick up the book and enjoy its magic.

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