The BFG

by Roald Dahl (1982)

Also available in Spanish.

The BFG is one of many fantastic novels written for children by Roald Dahl. Some children have read them all. But most have only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and/or James and the Giant Peach. And that makes The BFG a perfect choice for One School, One Book. A beloved author with accessible, reader-friendly prose, but a story mostly unknown to parents.

And what a playful and entertaining story it is. Sophie, an orphan (like most Dahl protagonists), is kidnapped by a huge giant, who turns out to be an eccentric and charming fellow named the BFG — the Big Friendly Giant. There is a plot and an adventure centered on an effort to protect other children from other dangerous giants.  But the heart of The BFG is the giant’s speech with its inventive, mixed-up, funny, yet charming lingo. Dahl invents a host of neologisms — adjectives, nouns, verbs — that come off even funnier when read aloud.

Just try reading this exclamation from the BFG without smiling – even though it is about eating children:

“Just because I is a giant, you think I is a man-gobbling cannybull!  You is about right!  Giants is all cannybully and murderful!  And they does gobble up human beans!”

The delightfully inventive prose makes The BFG a perfect book for families to discover and enjoy together, as Dahl and the Big Friendly Giant charm and enthrall children of all ages.