I always loved Roald Dahl’s books. They were so magical and had such character, I could completely lose myself in them for hours upon hours, even though I’d read each book at least 100 times.
Unlike Enid Blyton’s 2-D books, Roald Dahl could put me into a dreamy trance: my own private world where anything and everything was possible. It was those books that made me start writing.
I only have a couple of the books left now, which is amazingly depressing, but every now and then I’ll still pull out my battered copy of The BFG, or my all-time favourite Matilda, and give it a read.
I really wish they hadn’t filmised Matilda, because that version was awful. At that age, I was much happier in a library than anywhere else so I felt connected to the character -pity I didn’t have her brains though. Also I love her name, and my first child -boy or girl- will be called Matilda (Tilly for short). 😀
ANYWAY, I digress.
The reason I’m doing this post is to pay homage to the artist that is Quentin Blake. I loved his childlike, yet intrinsic, drawings, and even now I could look at them for hours!
I sometimes feel that the appeal of the Roald Dahl books was that the stories seemed almost written by a child and the drawings seemed like a childish doodle. Not that I’m trying to put these books down -perish the thought! These books were beautiful works of art. It takes so much for an adult to write from a child’s point of view without being condescending or patronising. Mr Dahl genuinely seemed to ‘get’ children: that constant desire for the world to be magical, the need to exaggerate every story you tell, that feeling of being oppressed by the adults, the longing for an endless pile of sweets, and the hatred of those spoiled kids who seemed to have all this.
The fact that the drawings looked so simple made me think that they were actually done by a child (yet despite some bare talent with a pencil, my own attempts at copying them were disasterous!) and that in itself makes you feel empowered: if a child could illustrate such amazing books, or if an adult drawing like a child could, then what was I capable of?
I’m really not doing justice to these books AT ALL, but anyone that’s read them will know what I’m trying to say, so I’m just going to leave you with some other Quentin Blake illustrations: