Dear Roald Dahl
Often at family meals and gatherings, memories and anecdotes are shared and reminisced. If ever these tales involve me, they will always include books. Whether I said something funny at bedtime or won a competition at school, each story will always involve me reading a book. In this day and age I worry that books are becoming less and less common, parents are reading less to their children and children are becoming less interested in the printed words on a page. My childhood however unequivocally revolved around fiction and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Everybody knows that my literary hero is JK Rowling but even before Harry Potter was first ever introduced to my life, the works of other fabulous authors assisted my magical upbringing. One of the most prevalent of these authors shaping my childhood was you Roald Dahl.
You opened my eyes up to the magic of the human imagination. Your writing could easily make me feel happy, sad, scared or excited. The Witches and The Twits scared me half to death as a young girl; Matilda taught me that there was always hope for geeky, little bookworms like myself; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory taught us all about gratitude and the dangers of greed and gluttony. You managed to take our young minds on creative, magical journeys by not only writing in English but also essentially creating a whole new language of wonderful names, words and descriptions. I even owned a ‘Roald Dahl Dictionary’ from a very young age to further my understanding of your complex mind.
6 months prior to me writing this love letter, we celebrated what would have been your 100th birthday. I never imagined I’d feel so emotional about the day that the News was referring to as ‘Roald Dahl Day’ but it hit me really hard. I work as a TA in a school and felt so happy and grateful to the school for making a big deal of this day because you and your stories are so important to me and hopefully will be to children all around the world for years to come.
As a child I collected the weekly Roald Dahl magazine, the cards, the figurines and each week would run to the newsagents after school where they used to save my order behind the counter. I would wait in anticipation until I got driven to my Grandparents house to read the whole issue to them from cover to cover. You are to me, more than just an author, you opened the gates to my love for reading, you are the creator of many of the world’s favourite characters and ideas still to this day and you even brought my grandparents and myself hours and hours of joy each week with your humour and fantastic magazines.
I would like to share my love for you and to thank you for being the reason I enjoy reading so much. Without you, I may have never discovered the wonders of Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Louise Rennison or even JK herself (and I can’t even begin to imagine how dull my life would be in that awful, alternate universe).
So thank you for everything, let’s all raise a glass to the legend that is Roald Dahl