When we lived in London, we trained to Dahl's hometown on a cold, misty day. We followed a map from the Roald Dahl museum on a hike in the forest around Great Missenden. As we walked, we imagined Dahl dreaming up some memorable characters. Cold and muddy after an hour, we found a warm pub where we discussed our Top 5 Roald Dahl books. All six of us voted on our 5 favorite books. Then we tallied the scores. Here is our list (#1 was the top vote getter):
1. Danny, The Champion of the World. We love the tender relationship between Danny and his dad and the mischief they get into together.
2. The BFG. What's not to like about the Big Friendly Giant who sneaks Sophie into Buckingham Palace.
3. Fantastic Mr. Fox. Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the farmers he terrorizes, makes for an hilarious character. [It's hard to get George Clooney's voice out of your head as you read this one; the 2009 movie is good one.]
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie finds a golden ticket and gets into Willy Wonka's (wacky) Chocolate Factory.
[It's hard to forget Johnny Depp's energy in the 2005 movie.]
5. Matilda. A very smart girl uses her powers to help others. [We are sad we never got to see the West End musical in London.]
If you are in London and love Dahl's books, be sure to visit Great Missenden. You can walk through the woods featured in Danny, The Champion of the World, sit in the chair where Dahl wrote most of his books, and see a replica of the BFG's sandal.