Thanks to Roald Dahl's self-confessed ability to know just what it's like to be a kid, a healthy dose of his fabulous tales is a great way to build your child's resilience. Immersed in the likes of Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and Revolting Rhymes, are life lessons that are "simply fantastic".
1. Embracing Differences
Remember Sophie and the BFG’s unlikely friendship in The BFG? They have a rocky start but once they outsmart the Fleshlumpeater together and take their big journey to London, they find that friendships can be found in the most unlikely places with all types of people (or giants!). We don’t have to look the same to be kind to each other.
2. Identifying Strong Role Models
Matilda’s family are not very kind to her. They’re mean and they belittle her – they are not good role models for a young girl. Luckily, Matilda has her teacher Miss Honey to share her love of books and believe in her abilities when her family didn’t. With Miss Honey’s encouragement Matilda stood up for herself and achieved her dreams. She taught us that even if you are small or young, if you set your mind to it you can achieve anything.
3. Working as a Team
After his parents pass away and he’s sent to live with his two horrible aunts in James and the Giant Peach, James has no choice but to sit in a cupboard all day, barely fed and terribly lonely. After finding a tunnel outside, he befriends a group of insects who help him escape the house. Without the help of his new friends, James would have had no way out. Roald Dahl teaches us that when you’re feeling stuck in a situation, your friends can help you solve your problems in ways you may not have thought.
4. Confidence is Key
Although he was unliked by the three foolish farmers, Mr. Fox (of Fantastic Mr. Fox) always devised a new plan to outwit the farmers and feed his family. Mr. Fox’s persistence teaches children that when you believe in yourself and don’t give up, great things can be achieved.
5. Always Think Positively
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie’s family is extremely poor, but they’re happy. He has loving parents and grandparents, and appreciates the little things. It shows children that even though Charlie doesn’t have any money, he’s content with what he does have. It can even teach kids a lesson of karma – Charlie’s attitude and good deeds end up rewarding him in Willy Wonka’s factory at the end of the story.
6. Problem solving
In Revolting Rhymes, Dahl provides us with new versions of the classic fairy tales we know and love, and these stories often involve the characters problem solving to get out of a sticky situation. Jack gets his family out of poverty by acquiring a giant beanstalk filled with gold leaves, and pig number three calls up his old friend to help him with the wolf. Many of Dahl’s stories teach us how to solve our problems, often with the help of our friends and family.
7. Using your Imagination
Imagination can be an incredible source of joy for children and adults, with many of the characters in Roald Dahl’s books demonstrating how their imaginations have helped them through certain situations. Willy Wonka’s factory is an incredible example of his wildest dreams come to life, from chocolate waterfalls to fizzy-lifting drinks to three-course dinner chewing gum! Roald Dahl himself had an incredible imagination, sharing it with the world through his books.
If you love all things Dahl, then you don’t want to miss the latest show headed for Auckland Live’s Bruce Mason Centre from 21 - 23 December. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts will burst off the page and onto the stage in a spectacular live show. Book now.