Matilda - Story Snug
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Matilda by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Matilda is one our favourite fictional heroines and her story is our favourite Roald Dahl story. She loves books, she’s strong minded, determined, feisty and all of these attributes lead her, against all odds, to find her own happy ending. Two other people also stand out in Matilda’s story, both are supportive and encouraging and help her escape the harsh reality of life at home. The local librarian, Mrs Phelps, after her initial surprise at Matilda’s high reading level, encourages her and helps feed her voracious reading habit before Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey, goes well beyond the call of duty and becomes a supportive friend.

The Story: Five year old Matilda’s father is a crooked car salesman and her mother leaves her alone while she goes to bingo. Matilda escapes to the local library to read and on her first day of school astounds her teacher, Miss Honey, with her amazing intelligence. Thanks to Miss Honey’s encouragement Matilda blossoms and then discovers that she has an amazing power, a power that helps her get the better of the school’s cruel headteacher, Miss Trunchbull.

Miss Honey, herself the victim of a tragic childhood, becomes an important figure in Matilda’s life and encourages her in a way that her parents never have. Mr Wormwood is a shady character who revels in his ability to lie and cheat whilst Mrs Wormwood thinks nothing of leaving her daughter alone at home every day. Neither can see the attraction of a book when they can watch television, one day Mr Wormwood rips Matilda’s library book into shreds and puts it in the bin!

Matilda’s story evokes so many different emotions. We’re sympathetic to her unsupportive home situation, we’re stunned at Mr Wormwood’s deceit, we laugh at the tricks that Matilda plays on her father and we gasp at Miss Trunchbull’s unbelievable cruelty! But throughout the story it is Matilda’s resilience that is most impressive and her determination to use her amazing power for the good of all. She’s incredibly intelligent and we love the way that she outsmarts her parents in retaliation for their cruel remarks. My daughter particularly loves the chapter ‘The Hat and the Superglue’ in which Matilda punishes her father for not letting her read instead of watching television.

The humorous text is supported by Quentin Blake’s wonderful pen and ink illustrations and his portrayals of the different characters are brilliant, we particularly like the way that he’s portrayed Miss Trunchbull who is enormous and extremely unattractive! As the story unfolds Miss Trunchbull and Matilda’s mutual dislike grows and one of our favourite illustration shows a newt crawling onto Miss Trunchbull, at this point in the story Matilda discovers the amazing power of her mind which leads her to plot her revenge on Miss Trunchbull for being so mean!

Matilda is a fabulously determined heroine whose actions and attitude lead to positive changes in many lives. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of her father whose cheating ways catch up with him in a spectacular fashion and ultimately help Matilda find the love and support that she deserves 🙂

Roald Dahl’s Matilda was first published in 1988. We can’t believe that she’ll be thirty years old next year! Do you have a favourite Roald Dahl book? We’d love to hear your favourites in the comments.

Age Range: 5 +

Author: Roald Dahl / Illustrator: Quentin Blake

You can read more on Matilda’s page on Roald Dahl’s website.

Matilda and Miss Honey - Story Snug

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18 responses to “Matilda by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake”

  1. The Daisy Pages avatar

    We’re massive Roald Dahl fans in our family. My son is reading the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the moment…they make him giggle. It’s wonderful to see him get lost in a book

    1. Catherine avatar

      The BFG is one of the Roald Dahl books we haven’t read and the film is on our ‘to watch list’ too.

  2. Acorn books avatar

    I loved this book when I was younger, I remember so much of it so vividly it made a real impression on me. Also love George’s Marvellous Medicine #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      We love George’s Marvellous Medicine too. It was the first Roald Dahl book that I read with my daughter.

  3. mummy here and there avatar

    My eldest loves Matilda, such a fun read X #mmbc

    1. Catherine avatar

      I would have loved a sequel to Matilda about her life with Miss Honey 🙂

  4. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    My favourite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Want to visit the Road Dahl museum some time.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I would love to visit The Road Dahl Museum too!

  5. Kim Carberry avatar

    Oh wow! I didn’t realise Matilda was nearly 30 years old….It was one of my favourite books as a child. We actually watched the film yesterday. hehehe

    1. Catherine avatar

      I really like the Matilda film but there are several scenes added that aren’t in the book.

  6. Tara avatar

    Matilda was my favourite too (I actually wanted to call Freya, Matilda but Mark wouldn’t let me). I can’t believe she will be 30 next year! #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      We know two Matildas! Now I wonder if their names have anything to do with the book 🙂

  7. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    Matilda is pretty much the only Roald Dahl book my daughter has ever read! I hadn’t realised she was nearly 30, although I know the book came out when I was too old for it 🙁
    My favourite Roald Dahl is probably Danny Champion of the World.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I had no idea that Matilda had been around for so long either! Roald Dahl was writing his books when I was at school but I don’t remember when I first read Matilda.

  8. Erica Price avatar

    It is one of my favourites alongside Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, which I can still recite parts of.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love Charlie and The Chocolate Factory too but I’m not so keen on The Great Glass Elevator.

  9. SLOAH avatar

    George’s Marvellous Medicine and the Great Glass Elevator were probably my joint childhood Dahl favourites. Making a creative mess, and finding out how strange things work… I think these topics capture most children’s interest! #MMBC x

    1. Catherine avatar

      We love George’s Marvellous Medicine too. I was a bit disappointed by Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, much preferred The Chocolate Factory 🙂