7 Valuable Life Lessons from Roald Dahl

September 15, 2016 Book Talk, Giveaway, Spotlight Author 4

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There has rarely been an author to make as much a difference in the lives of children and adults than Roald Dahl. Although Dahl’s word creations like oompa loompa, whizzpopper and splendiferous are all instantly recognizable, his life lessons are what we truly remember. Here’s a round-up of 7 messages Roald Dahl delivers in his books:

Kindness matters

I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else. . .  Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind.
If you’re kind that’s it. ~Roald Dahl

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Beauty comes from the inside.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~The Twits

You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony. ~Danny the Champion of the World

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Girls are heroes too

In Matilda you’ve got Ms. Honey and Matilda herself;
In The BFG, Sophie is a remarkable heroine;
In The Witches the Grandmother is said to be based on Dahl’s amazing mother

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. ~Matilda

The fact that I am still here and able to speak to you (however peculiar I may look) is due entirely to my wonderful grandmother. ~The Witches

Reading is a great cure for loneliness

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone. ~ Matilda

All you do is to look, At a page in this book, Because that’s where we always will be. No book ever ends, When it’s full of your friends.  ~ The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

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Find the whimsy and fun in life

“A whizzpopper!” cried the BFG, beaming at her. “Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”  ~The BFG

“The matter with human beans,” the BFG went on, “is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.” ~The BFG

Family is most important

My darling,’ she said at last, ‘are you sure you don’t mind being a mouse for the rest of your life?’ ‘I don’t mind at all,’ I said. ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.  ~ The Witches

But as soon as they heard the door opening, and heard Charlie’s voice saying, “Good evening, Grandpa Joe and Grandpa Josephine, and Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina,” then all four of them would suddenly sit up, and their old wrinkled faces would light up with smiles of pleasure. ~Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Friends are needed and come in all shapes and sizes

“He is a good giant, Your Majesty,” Sophie said. “You need not be frightened of him.” “I’m delighted to hear it,” said the Queen, still smiling. “He is my best friend, Your Majesty” ~The BFG

And James Henry Trotter, who once, if you remember, had been the saddest and loneliest little boy that you could find, now had all the friends and playmates in the world. ~James and the Giant Peach

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The paperback collection of fifteen titles and a special edition Roald Dahl tote bag provided by Penguin Young Readers/Puffin.
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About the Author

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(c) RDNL 2016

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

Many thanks to Wunderkind PR and Penguin Young Readers/Puffin for including The Novel Life in the Roald Dahl 100 Tour


Roald Dahl has touched countless lives through his novels. His stories still resonate today. It’s difficult to choose one favorite Dahl book or character, so instead, I’d love to know which ones have stayed with you the longest! or that you have had the most fun reading aloud?!?

Happy 100th Roald Dahl!

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4 Responses to “7 Valuable Life Lessons from Roald Dahl”

    • Stacy

      my grandson and I listened to The BFG on audio just before the movie came out then went to see the movie. He thought it was great and especially loved the made-up words {he turned 5 in June}. The audio production was fun, keeping us entertained on 45 minute commutes. I’d love to know if you do read one with him and which one you pick! We are trying to decide on our next Dahl book!
      Stacy recently posted…7 Valuable Life Lessons from Roald DahlMy Profile

    • Stacy

      Thanks so much! You are a sweetheart for saying that – I thought long and hard about that post so your recognition means the world to me!

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