Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Thu Feb 13 06:39:48 EST 2003

Jackie wrote:
> Dahl only comes up very rarely (often, when my students are exposed to
> Dahl as adults, they're horrified by him.)  

Oh, yes, I'd forgotten Dahl! Fantastic Mr Fox was my favourite of his, I
think. But I loved James and the Giant Peach and The Twits, as well, which
might well be one that horrified adults, with the horrible Twits catching
birds in cruel ways to eat, and the boy mixing up a poisonous medicine...  I
didn't like horror as a child, and I think the difference is, again, in
atmosphere- although very nasty things happen in his books, they didn't feel
creepy. And the ones who got squashed flat or baked in pies were always the
baddies. I think they're quite like the nastier fairytales, really, give
some children and most adults nightmares, but a lot of children take them in
their stride.
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