Thursday, October 5, 2023

All Things Halloween Review of Matilda


By: Roald Dahl

Publication: October 1, 1988

384 pages

Genre: Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Classics

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--*A very special edition, celebrating everyone's favourite young genius! Includes tips and activities for creating your very own story, and incredible pull-out illustrations of Matilda all grown-up*

'A true genius - Roald Dahl is my hero' - David Walliams

These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: you are not alone.

Matilda is a brilliant child with a magical mind.

But her parents have decided she's just a nuisance who wastes too much time on reading and stories.

And her headmistress Miss Trunchball is a terrible bully, who thinks children are rotten and awful and should be locked up.

Now it's time for Matilda to find the power to change her story, and show them just how extraordinary children can be . . .

This very special version of Matilda includes writing tips to tell your OWN story, and pull-out-and-keep grown up Matilda illustrations to inspire you to think big, big, BIG!

I never read Matlida growing up. I never really watched the movie either. I remember the movie being put on at school, but for some reason, I wasn't interested in it. I can't remember well enough to tell you why. But I've been doing read-aloud chapter books to my kids more and more the older they've gotten, and my daughter was given Matilda by her grandmother for her 7th birthday. So we finally read it.

At the beginning, I worried when Matilda was pulling pranks on her parents--most specifically her father. Obviously, Matilda's parents are horrible. But I worried that my prankster son, who's been struggling with self-control and impulse control, might take it into his head to find some similar pranks as Matilda to use in retaliation for any time he might be getting in trouble at school or at home. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

And it's funny because while we were reading Matilda, my daughter had a book fair at school, and she wanted to buy The Hidden Girl by Lola Rein Kaufman and Lois Metzger, but the librarian told her that she wouldn't be able to read it and didn't let her buy it. I was a little miffed about that, and I told my daughter that people said the same thing to Matilda.

I don't plan to do much analysis of the story or the characters because this is a classic book that has been analyzed over and over. I don't think I could add much to what's already been said. But I will say that my 7-year-old daughter has been obsessed with this story. We watched the original movie and the more recent musical after finishing the book, and she's rewatched them both during her allotted device time. She's also been playing "Matilda" with her dolls.

Oh and, I also want to say that my 5-year-old son was the one who called out the big twist about Miss Honey's aunt out loud before even my daughter. I had, of course, already speculated, but I was so impressed that he was paying attention to the story so well and that he saw the foreshadowing and could pick up on the clues. My daughter was shocked, but she agreed with him.

My only real negative is that I don't like to mix fantasy with realism. This is my own grown-up issue that I find I dislike in books. But I liked the tidbit of fantasy for my kids to latch onto to build and explore their imagination.

Matilda is a classic, and we will definitely be reading more of Roald Dahl's books as a family in the future. Matilda gets 4 Stars from me, but I have a feeling my daughter would give it 5. Have you read Matilda? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

No comments:

Post a Comment