Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day is a holiday which celebrates the birthday of Roald Dahl – probably one of the greatest storytellers of all time. It is celebrated on September 13 every year. Dahl is known for writing a number of popular children’s books which include Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach. His books have been translated into 58 different languages and have sold well over 200 million copies worldwide.

Come to the library and collect the entry sheet below, follow the directions and when finished bring your entry back to the library and we will add it to our display.

About Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a spy, an ace fighter pilot, a chocolate historian and a medical inventor. 

Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales to Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl. He attended Llandaff Cathedral School and at the age of eight years old was severely caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of gobstoppers at a local candy story. After that event, he transferred to St Peter’s boarding school. Later on, he would transfer to a private school that was known for its academic excellence, Repton. He graduated from Repton in 1932 and took a job with Shell Oil Company, located in Tanzania, Africa, and stayed there until 1939.

His time in Africa didn’t provide him with enough adventure so he joined the Royal Air Force in 1939. He was then trained in Nairobi, Kenya and became a fighter pilot during World War II. During his service, he crash-landed in Alexandria, Egypt and was left with multiple injuries to his hips, spine, and skull. Injuries that required a lengthy recovery, two spinal surgeries and a hip replacement. After he recovered, he was transferred to Washington, D.C. There he worked as an assistant air attaché.

During his time in Washington, Roald Dahl met with C.S. Forrester. At the time, Mr. Forrester was writing propaganda for the Allied cause and was approached by the Saturday Evening Post to write a story that was based on Dahl’s flying experiences. Forrester then approached Dahl and asked him to write down some Royal Air Force anecdotes that he could use as a reference to write a story. Dahl did so and handed the article back to Forrester. Forrester was so impressed by what Dahl had written, he decided to publish the story exactly as it had written and he encouraged Dahl to become a writer. He would do so in 1943 with the publication of his first children’s book, The Gremlins.

Over the years, he worked on a variety of projects which included 19 novels, 13 collections, 12 screenplays, 9 non-fiction books and 3 poems. Some of his most widely known works include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Danny, The Champion of the World; The Magic Finger; and The Enormous Crocodile.

Click here to learn more.

Roald Dahl Timeline

Roald Dahl was born in Wales to Norwegian parents and spent his early years in Llandaff.

Click here to learn about Roald Dahl's life and the inspiration behind some of his most famous stories and characters.

Click here for snapshots and details about some of the most loved characters in his books

Click here for a synopsis of his most loved stories

What's it like writing a book?

 Click here to listen to Roald Dahl talk about the writing process

In the above interview, recorded in 1988, we can hear Roald Dahl himself discussing his writing methods. Scroll to listen to all the answers to the questions below as well as a reading from The BFG by Roald.

What is it like writing a book?

How do you get your story ideas?

The idea for James and the Giant Peach

What is your work routine?

How do you keep the story's momentum going?

How easy was it to write Matilda?

How do you keep readers entertained?

How do you create your characters?

How do you include horrific events?

Has living in the countryside influenced you?

Inspired to write like Roald Dahl? Try this guided workshop:

Roald Dahl Quizzes

Click here to try this Kahoot quiz, 

or test your Roald Dahl knowledge 

by clicking on the quiz links below:

Link to a difficult quiz

You'll find answers to each of the quizzes on the relevant quiz pages - but no peeking until you've tried all the questions!

More online Roald Dahl Fun:

Watch Roald Dahl’s The Twits: a disgustingly delightful reading – video

The classic tale of the gruesome twosome is presented in an unabridged theatrical reading, filmed at the Unicorn in London

Watch part two: in which Mrs Twit gets a stretching, Mr Twit has a horrid surprise and the Roly-Poly Bird pays a visit …

Watch part three: in which Mr Twit has a dastardly plan to get his bird pie, the upside-down monkeys plot revenge and the tale comes to a sticky end …

Roald Dahl: 13 brilliantly brave Matilda quotes to live your life by

In 1988, Roald Dahl gave us Matilda. And, in doing so, he changed our lives forever. Why? Well, because the brilliant little Matilda Wormwood is definitely the hero of her own story. When she finds herself bullied and belittled by her family and the evil Miss Trunchbull, she refuses to give in or let them shape her character, choosing instead to seek solace in the local library.

The books she devours night after night teach her the value of love and kindness – traits we see in her as she cheers on Bruce Bogtrotter, rescues her fellow classmates from the Trunchbull’s over-the-top punishments, and hatches a plan to save Miss Honey from her tyrannical and abusive aunt.

Most importantly, however, we see that Matilda may be small, but she is mighty. There’s a power hidden away inside of her, which she can tap into whenever she wants to roar against the lions of injustice – and, through her own tiny acts of rebellion, she brings about change.

50 Amazing Words Roald Dahl Made Up

1. Argy (verb): If giants or human beans or cattlerpiddlers are argying, they are having an argument.

One of the biggest chatbags is the cattlepiddlers ... They is argying all the time about who is going to be the prettiest butterfly.” -The BFG

2. Biffsquiggled (adjective): If you feel biffsquiggled, you are confused or puzzled.

“’You must not be giving up so easy,’ the BFG said calmly. ‘The first titchy bobsticle you meet and you begin shouting you is biffsquiggled.’” -The BFG

3. Bibble (verb): When something bibbles, it makes a soft gurgling sound.

“All around them lay the vast black ocean, deep and hungry. Little waves were bibbling against the side of the peach.” -James and the Giant Peach

4. Bish (verb): If you bish something, you ruin it.

“’This is it!’ he whispered to himself under his breath. ‘The greatest moment of my life is coming up now! I mustn’t bish it. I mustn’t bosh it! I must keep very calm.’” -Esio Trot

5. Bundongle (noun): A bundongle is something that contains only air.

“I thought all human beans is full of brains, but your head is emptier than a bundongle.” -The BFG

6. Catasterous (adjective): A catasterous situation is very bad indeed, and a catasterous disastrophe is the worst of all.

“’Catasterous!’ cried the BFG. ‘Upgoing bubbles is a catasterous disastrophe!’” -The BFG

7. Churgle (verb): When you churgle, you gurgle with laughter.

“The fact that it was none other than Boggis’s chickens they were going to eat made them churgle with laughter every time they thought of it.” -Fantastic Mr. Fox

8. Crodsquinkled (adjective): If a giant is crodsquinkled, he is in a hopeless situation.

“’I is slopgroggled!’ squakwed the Gizzardgulper. ‘I is crodsquinkled!’ yowled the Bloodletter.” -The BFG

9. Daddle (verb): If you daddle, you run very fast.

“So start to run! Oh, skid and daddle / Through the slubber slush and sossel! / Skip jump hop and try to skaddle! / All the grobes are on the roam!” -Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

10. Darksome (adjective): Dark and murky.

“’This one is a nasty fierce bogrotting nightmare ... I would be hating to get this one inside me on a darksome night.’ the BFG said.” -The BFG

11. Diddly (adjective): Individual or distinct.

“Every human bean is diddly and different. Some is scrumdiddlyumptious and some is uckyslush.” -The BFG

12. Dispunge (verb): If you dispunge something, you hate or loathe it.

“’Here is the repulsant snozzcumber!’ cried the BFG, waving it about. ‘I squoggle it! I mispise it! I dispunge it!’” -The BFG

13. Dreadly (adjective): A dreadly creature, such as the dreadly vindscreen-viper, is feared because it is so dreadly.

“’Save our souls!’ bellowed the Fleshlumpeater. ‘Sound the crumpets! ... The teeth of the dreadly viper is still sticking into me!’” -The BFG

14. Exunckly (adverb): If you say “exunckly” to someone, you are agreeing with what they have just said.

“It’s a funny thought,’ Sophie said. ‘Exunckly,’ the BFG said.” -The BFG

15. Flavory-savory (adjective): Sweet and delicious, as fresh walnuts taste to monkeys.

“A walnut fresh from the tree is scrumptious-galumptious, so flavory-savory, so sweet to eat that it makes me all wobbly just thinking about it.”-The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

16. Fizzwiggler (noun): A fizzwiggler is someone who is mean and cruel. The BFG thinks that Mrs. Clonkers is a real fizzwiggler because she is cruel to the children in the norphanage.

“’The filthy old fizzwiggler!’ shouted the BFG. ‘That is the horridest thing I is hearing for years!’” -The BFG

17. Fluckgungled (adjective): See “crodsquinkled.”

“’I is gunzleswiped!’ shouted the Meatdripper. ‘I is fluckgungled!’ screamed the Maidmasher.” -The BFG

18. Frumpet (noun): If you call someone a frumpet (not that you would), you mean that they are old and unattractive.

“Mrs. Twit ... suddenly called out at the top of her voice, ‘Here I come, you grizzly old grunion! You rotten old turnip! You filthy old frumpet!’” -The Twits

19. Giganticus (adjective): Grand and spectacular.

“’So now!’ barked the Grand High Witch. ‘So now I am having a plan! I am having a giganticus plan for getting rrrid of every single child in the whole of Inkland!’” -The Witches

20. Glimp (noun): A very quick glimpse or peek.

“I is showing you now who is going to eat you up if they is ever catching even one tiny glimp of you.” -The BFG

21. Gloomness (noun): Darkness or nighttime.

“At the witchy hour of gloomness, / All the grobes come oozing home.” -Charlie and the Great Elevator

22. Gollup (noun): A big gulp or swallow.

“I’ll bet if you saw a fat juicy little child paddling in the water over there at this very moment, you’d gulp him up in one gollup!” -The Enourmous Crocodile

23. Grinksludging (adjective): A grinksludging dream is one that is no fun at all.

“If I is giving a girl’s dream to a boy ... the boy would be waking up and thinking what a rotbungling grinksludging old dream that was.” -The BFG

24. Grunch (verb): When a Gruncher grunches, it easts its food (usually Minpins) noisily by grinding and crunching.

“The one waiting for you down there is the fearsome Gruncher, the Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher. He grunches up everything in the forest.” -The Minpins

25. Grunion (noun): A very mean or grumpy person.

“George ... was especially tired of having to live in the same house as that grizzly old grunion of a Grandma.” -George’s Marvellous Medicine

26. Horrigust (adjective): Something horrigust is truly horrible and disgusting.

“You is saying it is grizzling and horrigust for giants to be eating human beans, right or left?” -The BFG

27. Inky-booky (adjective): An inky-booky taste is the taste you get from chewing a piece of paper with writing on it. School-chiddlers taste like this to giants, perhaps because they read more than giants do.

“I is very fond indeed of English school-chiddlers. They has a nice inky-booky flavour.” -The BFG

28. Jumpsy (adjective): If you feel jumpsy, you feel anxious and the slightest thing will make you jump.

“’I is nervous myself,’ the BFG whispered. ‘I always gets as jumpsy as a joghopper when the Fleshlumpeating Giant is around.’” -The BFG

29. Lickswishy (adjective): A lickswishy taste or flavor is gloriously delicious.

31. Mintick (noun): A minute.

“Now hang on a mintick.” -The BFG

32. Natterbox (noun): A natterbox is someone who cannot stop talking, usually about nothing in particular.

“Spiders is also talking a great deal. You might not be thinking it, but spiders is the most tremendous natterboxes.” -The BFG

33. Notmucher (noun): Someone who doesn’t do very much, or will never amount to much.

“’The Queen of England,’ Sophie said. ‘You can’t call her a squifflerotter or a grinksludger ... You can’t call her a squeakpip or a notmucher either.’” -The BFG

34. Pibbling (adjective): Very small and unimportant.

“You is not fit to be a giant! You is a squinky little squiddler! You is a pibbling little pitsqueak.” -The BFG

35. Plexicated (adjective): If something is plexicated, it is complicated and difficult to do or make.

“’Stay there please,’ he said, ‘and no chittering. I is needing to listen only to silence when I is mixing up such a knotty plexicated dream as this.’” -The BFG

36. Plussy (adjective): Someone who is plussy is full of life and energy. Being a plussy is the opposite of being a Minus.

“She’s a Minus no longer! She’s a lovely Plus! She’s as plussy as plussy can be!” -Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

37. Razztwizzler (noun): Something wonderfully exciting or enjoyable.

“I must say it’s quite an experience,’ Sophie said. ‘It’s a razztwizzler,’ the BFG said. ‘It’s gloriumptious.’” -The BFG

38. Re-inscorched (adjective): Metal that is re-inscorched has been toughened to make it extra strong.

“’It’s a steel rope,’ said Mr. Wonka. ‘It’s made of re-inscorched steel. If they try to bite through that their teeth will splinter like spillikins.’” -Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

39. Ringbeller (noun): A ringbeller is a really splendid dream, the kind that makes you wake up smiling and happy.

“’What a funny dream,’ Sophie said. ‘It’s a ringbeller,’ the BFG said. ‘It’s whoppsy.’” -The BFG

40. Rommytot (noun): If someone talks rommytot, they are talking nonsense.

“’Human beans is juicier,’ the Bloodletter said. ‘You is talking rommytot,’ the BFG said, growing braver by the second.” -The BFG

41. Scrotty (adjective): If you feel scrotty, you feel sad and gloomy.

“Whenever I is feeling a bit scrotty,’ the BFG said, ‘a few gollops of frobscottle is always making me hopscotchy.’” -The BFG

42. Shootle (verb): Shootling means shooting with guns, which grown-ups with no common sense do to each other.

“’But human beans is squishing each other all the time,’ the BFG said. ‘They is shootling guns and going up in aerioplanes to drop their bombs on each other’s heads every week.’” -The BFG

43. Sickable (adjective): Something that is sickable looks or tastes so vile that it makes you feel instantly sick.

“’It’s disgusterous!’ the BFG gurgled. ‘It’s sickable! It’s rotsome! It’s maggotwise! Try it yourself, this foulsome snozzcumber!’” -The BFG

44. Squishous (adjective): Something squishous is very easy to squish, like a boneless Knid.

“’Oh you Knid, you are vile and vermicious,’ cried Mr Wonka. ‘You are slimy and soggy and squishous!’” -Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

45. Suspichy (adjective): If a giant is suspichy, he is suspicious about something.

“The Fleshlumpeater turned and started at the BFG. ‘What is you doing here with all these grotty twiglets!’ he bellowed. ‘You is making me very suspichy.’” -The BFG

46. Telly-telly bunkum box (noun): A television.

“’If you do go back, you will be telling the world,’ said the BFG, ‘most likely on the telly-telly bunkum box and the radio squeaker.’” -The BFG

47. Vermicious (adjective): Something vermicious is vicious and nasty, just like a Knid.

“’It’s worse than that!’ cried the Chief of Police. ‘It’s a vermicious Knid! Oh, just look at its vermicious gruesome face!’” -James and the Giant Peach

48. Whiffsy (adjective): Something whiffsy is always moving.

“’Giants is never dying,’ the BFG answered ... ‘Mostly us giants is simply going on and on like whiffsy time-twiddlers.’” -The BFG

49. Whunking (adjective): Big and heavy.

“So what you soldiers has to do is to creep up to the giants while they is still in the Land of Noddy and tie their arms and legs with mighty ropes and whunking chains.” -The BFG

50. Zozimus (noun): Zozimus is what dreams are made of. The BFG whisks zozimus with an eggbeater until it forms bubbles just like soapy water.

“Dreams is not like human beans or animals. They has no brains. They is made of zozimus.” -The BFG

Other fun websites to visit:

13 Phizz-Whizzing Facts About Roald Dahl - Named after a polar explorer, author Roald Dahl was born more than 100 years ago. He flew a fighter plane in World War II and even survived a crash landing in the desert. He was also a spy and very tall. Dahl wrote his books in pencil because he didn't know how to type. He spent four hours a day writing, usually in a shed in his garden. Discover who inspired his characters. Learn about the words he invented.

10 Things You Might Not Know about Roald Dahl - Children's author, Roald Dahl, is famous for his many children's books which include Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Learn some things in this article that you might not have known about him. Did you know that during World War II, he was a fighter pilot and then, after surviving a plane crash, he went on to become a spy? His first story was The Gremlins (1943) which was made into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1984. Find out what inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Read about his work as a medical innovator. Find out what works he wrote for adults and some of the new words and character names he created.

Roald Dahl on the Death of his Daughter- Although known for his fantasy tales of giant peaches and chocolate factories, Roald Dahl's personal life was not a fantasy. In 1960, a cab struck the Baby Theo's pram and he nearly died of a shattered skull. Two years later, an outbreak of measles struck his daughter Olivia's school when Dahl was working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl acquired gamma globulin to protect fragile Theo, but the girls were deemed healthy enough to handle measles. As Olivia was recovering from the rash and fever, measles encephalitis struck. There was nothing Dahl or the doctors could do.

The Candy Man: Why Children Love Roald Dahl's Stories and Many Adults Don't. - Subtitled Why children love Roald Dahl's stories--and many adults don't, this New Yorker column explores the appeal of the author of Charles and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and other favourites, as well the controversy his books have inspired. Writes Margaret Talbot, Dahl is...a children's writer whom many adults over the years have disliked or distrusted, though they have not always found it easy to say why. Read Talbot's complete piece to uncover some reasons for their ambivalence.

Roald Dahl - You may assume that for a writer to create such amazing stories he would have to lead an adventurous and exciting life. As you will discover in this biography, Roald Dahl's life was filled with just as much adventure as he created in his books. In addition to his young life, you will also find out how his writing career blossomed, his original audience, and you will find a list of his best-known titles.

10 Things You Might Not Know about Roald Dahl - You might already know Roald Dahl as a children's author from such books as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG. Find out some interesting tidbits about him in this article that may surprise you. Learn about the tragedies he survived during childhood. Read about his real work as a schoolboy chocolate-tester. Find out what unusual roles he played in World War II. After the war, he contributed to some amazing medical inventions. Find out more interesting trivia about his writing and his books.

Photos from our fun day!