Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl books (even if sometimes I wonder if his parents simply forgot the N in Ronald.) While most of my friends would name Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as their favourite, or the Witches, or James and the Giant Peach, my favourite was always Fantastic Mr. Fox.
I had three favourites, really, the others being Matilda and The Giraffe, The Pelly, and Me. I bought these for my young cousin-once-removed the other year for her birthday. She was so excited for me to read Matilda to her, yet I had completely forgotten just how long and involved these are for children’s books. Apparently, Harry Potter was turned down because they thought it was too long for a children’s book… Have you seen Matilda that was released a lot earlier?
Anyway, enough eye-popping ranting about the length of children’s novels.
I love Fantastic Mr. Fox, and for the same reason I love Matilda. Unlike most children’s books, where the main character is flawless and oh-so-good all the time, these aren’t. Matilda turns her father’s hair green and superglues his hat to his head. She convinces her family that there is a ghost in their house. She lies!
Mr. Fox spends the entire book stealing. If this were a human, he’d be called kleptomaniac and locked away. He even takes his children along for his little crime spree, and uses them to carry the stolen loot back home. – Can anyone say social services?
But he’s a fox, and this is what foxes do. Instead of playing it all ‘hero’ this and ‘martyr’ that, Roald Dahl tells the truth to kids, even if the moral isn’t always clear.
Boggis and Bunce and Bean
One fat, one short, one lean
These horrible crooks
So different in looks
Were nonetheless equally mean