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16/09/2011 / Julie

The Minpins

When I was a tiny little blighter, my favourite book was The Minpins by Roald Dahl. The first time I picked the book out of the shelf and read it, I couldn’t have been much older than 6 or 7. The book terrified me. When Little Billy is chased by the (after a little googling I find the English name for the creature, I did not read english at the age of 6) Terrible Bloodsuckling Toothpluckling Stonechuckling Spittler for the first time, I got so scared I couldn’t read any further. The next night I picked up the book and read on. The illustrations of Patrick Benson make the forest more alive, but are more of a supplement, and the story lives in the words.

I brought The Minpins as part of the childrens books and folklore I took from home to read in my new haven of fantasy, and the book is still scary. There are a lot of crappy children’s books about, but I think what makes this one great, what makes Roald Dahl great, is that it, and he, doesn’t underestimate kids. Kids do not need to be protected from everything, they enjoy being scared as much as adults. The climax never lasts long, the conflicts gets resolved, and the bad guys and monsters get punished. Those are the essentials of childrens books. The great ones take it a step further and put great stories, magnificent worlds and amazing creatures within their books.

Roald Dahl is my favourite author. There’s no question about that. His way of putting everything creepy, crawly, ugly and magnificent into a childrens book is something that is one of a kind. George’s grandma is described as grumpy, selfish and “having a dark secret”. Grandma’s are usually described as kind and thoughtful.

His description of George’s grandma sparked another of my favourite authors, a Norwegian called Jon Ewo. He has a series of books called Otto Monster. About a little monster called Otto, who is the youngest in his family. He is a terrible monster. He is good and kind. He is polite, smart and tolerant. This is wrong in the monster world and creates friction in his family. Both his brother and sister are mean, ugly, unhygenic and horrible. They fart, burp and are basically great monsters. I absolutely love these books. They are terrific fun.

Roald Dahl is my all time favourite author. His books even translate to stage and screen. Enduldge in children’s books from time to time, they are glorious fun!

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3 Comments

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  1. Flo / Jan 13 2012 03:29

    Glad to find your blog through the Pet Blogger Challenge. I love Roald Dahl and last year we tried to read all his children’s books, plus Boy. I hadn’t heard of this one though. I agree about underestimating children, they totally get Roald Dahl from quite a young age. I’m going to try and find a copy of The Minpins. Thanks!

    • Julie / Jan 17 2012 00:03

      I haven’t read all his books yet. Doesn’t seem like they’re all well known in Norway, but I am on a slow mission now to get through them one by one.

      The Minpins is a brilliant book, and quite terrifying.

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