Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Fri Feb 14 16:21:14 EST 2003

Jennifer said...

> 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,

Snap!  "Fantastic Mr. Fox" was one of my big favourites too, and "Danny, the
Champion of the World" (loved the drugged raisins!).  Also "Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory", though I hated the film (They Didn't Get It Right!),
and, of course, "James and the Giant Peach".

> 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
> creepy. And the ones who got squashed flat or baked in pies were always
> 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
> their stride.

I think you're right there.  A lot of kids seem to like gruesome stuff
(well, my brother and I did, anyway!), as long as the grue is happening to
the baddies.  And kids seem to take some things in their stride that some
adults think they won't - look at Neil Gaiman's latest, "Coraline".  This is
a pretty dark book and has some yucky stuff in it, and I read a lot of
reviews and comments that basically said "don't give this to kids; it will
give them nightmares".  But I also read a lot of reviews and comments that
said "I thought this was terrifying but my 8-year-old had no problems at all
with it".  Sometimes I think adults don't give kids enough credit.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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