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Tag / roald dahl

Babble like the BFG

Roald Dahl's absolutely squiffling children's novel The BFG is coming to cinemas on June 30!

rsz_9780141365428If you've never read it, The BFG centres around little orphan named Sophie, who is abducted in the middle of the night by a mysterious figure... "something very tall and very black and very thin". It turns out that her very tall abductor is a GIANT, and not just any giant, but a friendly giant. (Trust us, the friendly part is important).
Slowly the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and Sophie become friends and he introduces her to a world she never knew existed.

Throughout the book the BFG uses a language all of his own, as he says “Words... is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life.”
A mish-mash of familiar words, it can be a little bit confusing to figure out what he means, so we've decoded a few for you.  Feel free to throw them into everyday babblements to make them more interesting!

Babblements: Conversations, e.g. "We is having an interesting babblement about the taste of the human bean."

Whoopsey-splunkers: Splendid, e.g. “How whoopsey-splunkers! How absolutely squiffling! l is all of a stutter.” 

Whizzpopper: To break wind, e.g. "Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness."

Right or left?:  Right or wrong, e.g. “Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”

Delumptious: Delicious, e.g. "Delumptious fizzy frobscottle..."

Ucky-mucky: Messy, e.g. "You will be coming to an ucky-mucky end if any of them should ever be getting his gogglers upon you."

You can find more delumptious words the BFG uses in Roald Dahl's Gobblefunk Glossary located here.

Get your gogglers on these roses!



The Chelsea Flower Show is renowned for it's gorgeous blooms, and this year was no exception, but one in particular had a story to tell. As part of the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations,The 'Roald Dahl' rose was unveiled by Dahl's wife, Felicity Dahl,  and Sir Quentin Blake. The chosen peach-coloured rose has been created by David Austin roses and is a tribute to Dahl's love of gardening.

“Whilst planning the centenary celebrations I focused on what Roald’s passions were, and gardening of course was one.  It was a natural next step to name a rose after him as it has universal resonance around the world just like the man himself.  We were honoured that the prestigious rose breeder, David Austin, agreed to be part of our plans”. - Felicity Dahl on roald



The rose takes centre stage in the David Austin Roses display, which includes a giant copper peach sculpture, etched with Roald Dahl's words and Quentin Blake's illustrations, and is an homage
to Dahl's first major success as a children's author with James and The Giant Peach.

Felicity Dahl wanted to name a rose for her husband’s centenary year to highlight his passions – one of which was gardening.The David Austin Roses stand, which picked up a gold medal, has the rose as the central focus and features a giant copper peach sculpture as the backdrop, etched with Roald’s words and Sir Quentin Blake’s illustrations from the story.



Feeling Naughty? Read these banned books!

Have you been walking on the wild side?

We bet you have- and you might not have even known it!

In celebration of Banned Books Week, we have compiled a list of titles you have probably heard of, but may not have known they were banned at one time or another. (Check out #3!) We still think they are awesome reads though!

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrated in the last week of September every year. It celebrates the freedom to read (which we are all about!). For more info check out their website here.

harry potter

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Harry, Ron and Hermione have captured hearts all over the world, but  parents and school boards on both sides of the Atlantic have raised issues with the book. They disagree with the  portrayal of death, evil, hatred, and the promotion of the belief in witchcraft.

2. Where's Wally by Martin Handford: Who doesn't want to find Wally? In the USA between 1990 and 2000 first publications of Where's Wally were requested to be banned as one of the scenes contained a group of sunbathers, one of whom appeared to be topless.

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: This saucy romance between a teenager and a vampire also became a series of films. 2013 saw the title make the list as one of the most requested to be banned in USA schools with complaints of 'explicit content' and that it 'contradicted religious beliefs'.

kite runner

4. The Witches by Roald Dahl: This title (which most of us here at the QBD Blog read as children) has been frequently challenged in US libraries and schools because of the focus on witchcraft,  the feeling that it devalues the lives of children and - for some feminists- the negative portrayal of women.

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Based on the friendship between two boys in Afghanistan this book has been banned on parts of the US for sexual content (it contains a rape scene). The film based on this novel was also banned in Afghanistan as they felt it depicted ethnic groups in a bad light.

6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: This best-selling book turned film was banned in Lebanon because it contains the insulting suggestion that Christ had a child with Mary Magdalene, contradicting the beliefs of Christianity. It has also been banned as it portrays the Catholic Church as demonising women.

anne frank

7. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Published posthumously this diary of a Jewish teenager who hid from the Nazis with her family in WWII has been banned in some schools in the USA because it is seen to be depressing.

8. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky: This coming-of-age story has been withdrawn from some libraries across the USA. It regularly makes the American Library Association's top 10 most challenged books list for reasons of explicit sexual content, and homosexuality.

So check out a banned book today and make up your own mind! You may be pleasantly surprised...


First Chapter books for kids…

kids reading

Is your child looking to move on from readers and picture books to something a little more challenging? As parents we want to foster our child's reading as much as possible. Luckily, there are a variety of titles and series aimed at children ages 6-9, that are absolutely perfect for beginning readers to dip their toe into the water. Many intersperse pictures with the text and have short chapters to keep young readers engaged.

There are your adventure series, such as Robert Irwin Dinosaur Hunter, Geronimo or Thea Stilton, Zac Power, EJ Spy School, or Extreme Adventures by Justin D'ath.

There are also fantasy series involving flying ponies and fairies and other magical creatures. Some of the most popular of these titles are Rainbow Magic, The Rescue Princesses, Beast Quest, Boy vs Beast, Sea Quest , and  Pearlie.

Some other popular series are: Pony Mad Princess, Eric Vale,  Zoe's Rescue Zoo, the Railway Rabbits, Hey Jack and Rascal.

Still stuck for ideas? For this age group Aussie bites and nibbles are always a classic choice as is a good Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton story. Some of the shorter Enid Blyton stories have recently been released in the new Star Reads series, aimed specifically at this age group.

Currently the Children's Book Council of Australia are in the process of naming the book of the year for this age group (amongst others). To see shortlisted titles you can visit their website here.