Tag Archives: Roald Dahl

Review: The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

Growing up, my favourite author by far was Roald Dahl. He is a legend in children’s literature and his books continue to delight children. They are not for the squeamish though. Roald Dahl delighted in telling stories that could make your hair curl. In this recently published book, The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl you can delve a little deeper into the stories and characters, and find out some brilliant behind the scenes information about Dahl’s writing. Written by Stella Caldwell, it is a spectacular scrapbook of stories and characters!

Review: The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

This fantastical and official book, published just over 100 years after Roald Dahl’s birth, gives a brilliant new perspective on his most-loved (and hated) characters and stories. The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl brings together Dahl’s wondrous creations and Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts, posters and much, much more. Inspired by the characters and events from each of Dahl’s books, and including original thoughts and notes on yellow lined paper – as if written by Dahl himself – the book expands upon his stories in a humorous and creative way, making it the ideal addition to everyone’s Dahl collection.

This is a wonderful book to dip in and out of. It’s just the thing to read alongside one of his books, if you’re reading The Twits for example, dip into The Twits section and find out more about the horrifying Mr and Mrs Twit.

Read Mrs Twit’s recipe for Bird Pie, become a giant expert with the BFG’s spotter’s guide, discover Willy Wonka’s golden ticket or take a look at The Trunchbull’s tips for school discipline.

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl contains a map linking all of Roald Dahl’s fictional worlds; information about his special writing hut and pages and pages about his stories. It is wonderfully illustrated by his long term collaborator, Quentin Blake and contains fold out pages and special items such as The Oompa-Loompa Field guide, a guide to Gobblefunk and there’s a special secret letter hidden in the back of the book.

Review: The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

Did you know Roald Dahl always wrote in pencil on yellow lined paper? You do now!

It really is absolutely packed full of lovely secrets scattered across each page. It’s a glorious read and would make a really wonderful gift for any Roald Dahl fan, whatever their age. We’ve certainly enjoyed reading it together, dipping in and out and finding out more wonderful things about some of the weird and wonderful creatures and grotesque grown ups in Roald Dahl’s books.

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl is published by Carlton Books, costs £12.99 and is available from a wide range of retailers, including Amazon.

Disclosure: We were sent The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This post contains an affiliate link.

If you enjoyed this review, you might also like to find out more about My Golden Ticket – A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book.

Children’s Books: Five Children’s Poetry Books

Reading together is a big part of our evening routine. As a parent, the books I’ve most enjoyed reading to my son are ones that have been written with a rhyming structure like the Hairy Maclary books by Lynley Dodd or any of Julia Donaldson’s books. I’ve always felt that these kind of children’s poetry books were a wonderful gateway into the world of poetry.

I’ve picked out five children’s poetry books which I either read a lot with my son, or I’m looking forward to reading with him when the times comes. I hope you enjoy my choices.

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. This has been a childhood classic for as long as I can remember. First published in 1978 this classic is full of rhyming couplets featuring almost every fairy tale character you can think of. The illustrations are a joy too, even though my son is getting a bit old for this book now, I still like to flick through it and savour the simple joy of it.

Kicking a Ball by Allan Ahlberg. This is a book my son likes to read out loud to us, it’s full of action and action words and is the perfect poetry-story book for football fans.

Children's Books: Five Children's Poetry Books

Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl. No poetry round-up is complete without a Roald Dahl book. Dirty Beasts is a collection of poems about the foulest, most grotesque creatures in Roald Dahl’s imagination. This was my copy from when I was a child and I’ve passed it down to my son who loves the disgusting rhymes and terrifying tales in Dirty Beasts. This is a treat for adults and children alike!

I’m a Little Alien by James Carter. This poetry book for 3-8 year olds covers all forms of life, from aliens, sharks, robots, snowflakes, moles and elephants. Each poem is full of joy and it’s perfect for dipping in and out of with your little ones. We are big fans!

Poems to Perform, chosen by Julia Donaldson. This wonderful poetry collection has been chosen by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, it’s ideal for children’s groups and school classes to learn and perform, but equally it’s a wonderful collection of poetry to have at home. Something you can dip in and out of. It’s a collection for slightly older children, my son is 7 and he’s only just starting to read and enjoy the poems from this book.

Reading and writing poetry at home is a great way to encourage a love of the written word. Poetry doesn’t have to be hard work or hard to understand. It can be the start of a wonderful adventure with the written and spoken word.

What’s your favourite children’s poetry book?

Children's Books: Five Children's Poetry Books

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Review: My Golden Ticket – A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book

I’ve been reading Roald Dahl books since I was a child and I’m keen to pass on a love of his stories to my own son. I’ve loved all of Roald Dahl’s books, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an especially iconic tale. Who hasn’t dreamed of finding a golden ticket and being transported into a wonderful new world? Wonderbly have recently released a new personalised story book based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – My Golden Ticket.

My Golden Ticket- A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book

My Golden Ticket is a beautifully illustrated personalised adventure that opens up Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory to absolutely everyone. This isn’t just a version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a Charlie’s name swapped for your child’s name. Everyone gets a different personalised story; including their own unique candy, Oompa Loompa song and Wonkafied family tree.

When you order your copy of My Golden Ticket on the Wonderbly website there are a few questions you need to answer to personalise the book. Obviously there’s your child’s name, in our case Benjamin. You can also choose someone to go on the adventure with him. We chose Grandad who died last year; but he would have been the perfect person to go on this adventure with.

My Golden Ticket- A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book

You can also add your names to an inscription on the first page. Ordering the book is really straightforward and only really took me a few minutes to do. My Golden Ticket starts at £19.99, but there are a number of different options to choose from which can build the price. We chose a hardback book which took the price to £25.99. I then added a dedication and someone to go on the adventure with. With added gift-wrap and candy scent the final price was £30.99, but that really is the all singing – all dancing version of the book.

My Golden Ticket- A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book

My Golden Ticket is beautifully illustrated, rich with colour with a stunning golden embossed cover. If you add the candy scent (which is something I recommend for an extra £2) they slip a scented postcard into your book. This gently wafts chocolate smells at you while you’re reading. It’s very clever and is brought to you by “Wonka Smell-o-Vision”.

My Golden Ticket- A Beautiful Personalised Roald Dahl Book

This beautiful (and I can’t stress this enough, it is beautiful) personalised book would make a really magical keepsake for any child (or Wonka mad adult for that matter). It’s the kind of book which we will bring out to read time and again for many years to come. It really is a very special book.

Disclosure: We were sent this My Golden Ticket book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

FREE activity sheets from Disney’s The BFG

With the release of Disney’s The BFG on digital download, DVD and Blu-ray this month, Disney have released six brilliant BFG activity sheets which are available for you to download for free here.Disney's The BFGDisney's The BFGDisney's The BFGDisney's The BFGDisney's The BFGDisney's The BFGTwo of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg – unite this year to bring Dahl’s classic to life. Based on the beloved novel by the iconic British children’s novelist, Disney’s The BFG tells the exciting tale of a young girl named Sophie and the mysterious Big Friendly Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is released this month – making the DVD or Blu-ray the perfect Christmas present for young and old Dahl fans alike!

Disney’s The BFG is available on Digital Download, Blu-Ray™ and DVD. Order your own copy today on Amazon.

DVDs: Steven Spielberg’s The BFG

Two of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg – unite this year to bring Dahl’s classic to life. Based on the beloved novel by the iconic British children’s novelist, The BFG tells the exciting tale of a young girl named Sophie and the mysterious Big Friendly Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is released this month – making the DVD or Blu-ray the perfect Christmas present for young and old Dahl fans alike!

The BFG follows a young girl named Sophie who lives in an orphanage in London. One night, Sophie sees a large, cloaked person in her bedroom window who takes her away to his homeland in Giant Country. There, he identifies himself as the Big Friendly Giant (‘BFG’). Considered an outcast by his fellow children-eating giants, the BFG spends his nights sweeping the streets of London blowing bottled dreams into children’s bedrooms and sustaining himself on a diet of ‘snozzcumbers’ – a foul tasting vegetable substitute to ‘human beans’.

Despite his intimidating appearance, Sophie discovers that the BFG is a kind-hearted soul and they quickly become friends. The BFG shares with Sophie the wonders and secrets of Dream Country, but she soon finds herself in danger by the sudden arrival of several human bean gobbling giants. In order to stop the Giants tyranny, together they prepare a plan to appeal to the Queen of England for help.

The BFG on Blu-ray

Directed by three-time Academy Award winning director, Steven Spielberg (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park), The BFG stars Oscar-winning actor, Mark Rylance as the BFG (Bridge of Spies, The Other Boleyn Girl) and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. Penelope Wilton plays The Queen, Rebecca Hall as Mary, the Queen’s maid, and Rafe Spall as her honourable servant. They are joined by Jemaine Clement and Bill Hader as two of the formidable giants.

THE BFG is available on Digital Download, Blu-Ray™ and DVD. Order your own copy today on Amazon.

 

Check out our giveaways over on our competitions page.

Preview: Halloween with The Witches at Tatton Park

This October half term, get into the Halloween spirit with a week of witchy fun and mischief – part of Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures. Meet The Witches at Tatton Park, part of a year-long programme of events celebrating 100 years since the author’s birth.  

From Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October, The Old Hall – the park’s oldest building – will be transformed into Hotel Magnificent (the scene of most of the action in Roald Dahl’s famous book) where visitors are invited to a Spooktacular Halloween Party and are invited to dress up, or not if you don’t want to.

The Witches at Tatton Park

This Witch Spotting Checklist will help you spot The Witches at Tatton Park….

  • They always wear gloves

o    Witches don’t have normal fingernails, they have thin claws, like cats – which is why they wear gloves ALL THE TIME, even indoors.

  • They are bald as a boiled egg

o    But many choose to wear very realistic wigs –don’t be fooled!

  • They have large nose holes

o    Real witches have an amazing sense of smell due to their very large nose holes – they can smell a child from across the street. And the cleaner the child, the easier they are to smell.

  • Their eyes change colour

o    If you look carefully at a real witch’s eye, you will notice the pupil changes colour – it will send shivers down your spine.

  • They have no toes

o    Real witches have feet with square ends – but they try to hide this by squeezing their feet into pretty shoes. Watch out for them limping!

  • They have blue spit

o    Real witches have spit so blue they can even use it to write with it.

Whilst you’re at Tatton Park,  head to The Farm and collect your conker from the Witches’ Tree. The whole family can join in a creepy and chilling conker challenge.  To top off the fun at the Farm there’s gazillions of fun to be had taking part in the Fantastic Mr Fox Farm trail.

Tatton Park is is bringing Roald Dahl’s imagination to life, with a host of children’s trails and events for all the family. Join Danny the Champion of the World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion and you’ve got to be careful of The Enormous Crocodile out in the parkland!

The Witches at Tatton Park

This October half term is the perfect time for an autumnal visit to Tatton Park to catch the Roald Dahl themed activities and exhibitions. What better way of celebrating Halloween but by visiting The Witches at Tatton Park!

Get a Totally Tatton Twit Ticket and enjoy discounted entry to 3 of the Roald Dahl attractions. Family £27.50, Adult £11, Child £5.50. Car entry £6.

Five things to do in Manchester in May Half Term

It only seems like five minutes since the kids when back to school after Easter and the May half term is just around the corner. It’s often hard to think of things to do to entertain the troops. Playdates and trips to the park always feature heavily, but it’s good to have a few bigger things in the diary too.

I’ve picked a few things to do in (and around) Manchester with the kids this May half term. We’ll definitely be popping along to some of these.

The Lost Carnival

If you’ve ever been to the Just So Festival, A Day at the Lake or event The Lost Carnival last year, you know that Wild Rumpus know how to put on an event. Last year we went to The Lost Carnival which was in Bury, this year you can experience an evening of wonder in Crewe, and trust me, it is an experience to remember for all the best reasons.

This year features a “Battle of the Carnivals” between the rival carnivals, The Ingenues and the Birds. Together they will meet for a thrilling evening of spellbinding theatre and enthralling installations, circus, music, visual trickery and sideshows galore. Last year was so good it gave me goosebumps and this year looks set to be even bigger and better!

The Lost Carnival will take place on May 28/29/30 (4-9.30pm) at Queen’s Park, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 7SE. Early Bird tickets cost £10 per ticket. Under 3s go free. Carnival goers should dress for the weather, and wear sturdy shoes.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre & SEA LIFE Manchester

Over the May half term, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEA LIFE Manchester at the Trafford Centre will have lots to entertain families come rain or shine. better still, guests only have to buy one ticket and will have the freedom to explore two brilliant attractions!

In the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre visit the brand new play area, City Builder. Visitors can create their own buildings and structures in the City Builder zone. The only limit is your imagination!

For movie enthusiasts, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre has another new 4D movie starring the LEGO Nexo Knights. Experience this fantastic new 4D film with all the elements – wind, water and smoke – bringing the battle to life all around the cinema.

May Half Term

Down at SEA LIFE Manchester, families can dive deep to the fascinating world of new exhibition, Octopus Hideout and spot the star of the show, the Giant Pacific Octopus called Hank and his Cephalopod friends. A visit to SEA LIFE is always a fascinating, fun and educational day out.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the LEGOLAND website and the SEA LIFE website. 

Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park

From Easter until the end of 2016, Tatton Park is is bringing Roald Dahl’s imagination to life, with a host of children’s trails and events for all the family. Join Danny the Champion of the World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion and you’ve got to be careful of The Enormous Crocodile out in the parkland!

We’ve already visited and explored the farm at Tatton Park where we found Fantastic Mr Fox, and we’ll be visiting again over half term to explore some of the other fabulous Roald Dahl goings on. You can read the full preview of the Roald Dahl adventures at Tatton Park here.

May half term

GeronimO Festival at Tatton Park

The Geronimo Festival is on at Tatton Park (May 29th and 30th) and will feature CBeebies star live shows, a full circus, 3 theatre companies, amazing bands, a full county fair arena including jousting, sheep shearing, motorcycle displays, funfair rides, tortoise encounters, spy school den building and 100 other amazing activities.

This year CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher will be there, as well as Mr Bloom, presenters Andy Day and Alex Winters and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle. As well as Les Enfants Terrible who present their Imaginary Menagerie. We’ve seen this show before and it is fantastic, so we won’t be missing that particular festival highlight! You can read my preview here.

What else?

Manchester is a lively, vibrant city full of museums, art galleries, things to see, do and explore. Just a short drive out fo the city you have a wealth of unspoilt countryside and fresh air to fill your lungs with.

If the weather is decent then you could visit and explore outdoors at Dunham Massey, Lyme Park, Delemere Forest or Quarry Bank Mill. There’s Manchester Museum to explore; the Museum of Science and Industry, The Police Museum, Manchester Airport Viewing Park, Stockport Hat Museum, the air-raid shelters; as well as Wythenshawe Community Farm and the utterly fantastic Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

There’s lots to do this May half term, do you have any interesting ideas for things to do during May half term?

Days Out: Finding Fantastic Mr Fox at the Farm

This year Tatton Park in Cheshire have a full programme of events to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. Being epic Roald Dahl fans, we hot footed it down to the farm at Tatton Park to see if we could find our friend, The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Fantastic Mr Fox

The farm is a short walk from the main car park at Tatton Park. I have some mobility problems, but it was a virtually flat walk on a good tarmac road and I found it fine, even  in the rain.

At the farm you pay to get in (£6 per adult and £4 per child) and you’re free to explore the farm. We had a good wander around and found cows, pigs and piglets, chickens, ducks, chicks, rabbits, orphan lambs, goats (lots of cheeky goats), horses and much more. There are a large number of permanent displays and things to do at the farm which make it good value to visit anyway. 

This year they’ve added a few fabulous features to fit in the Fantastic Mr Fox theme. When you enter the farm you’re given a map to help you explore and find Fantastic Mr Fox’s Den. Dotted in and around the farm are a few key features from the famous Roald Dahl story. Can you find Farmer Bunce’s Duck & Goose Shed? Farmer Bean’s Secret Cider Cellar or Farmer Boggis’s Kitchen? There’s also a craft room where you can shelter from the rain and design an invitation to Mr Fox’s scrumdiddlyumptous feast.

Fantastic Mr Fox

After you’ve explored the farm and (spoiler alert) failed to find the den, there’s only one more place to look, and that’s the Woodland Playground. The Woodland Playground is a great little spot to let the kids run wild. There’s a storytelling circle, an insect hotel, a den building corner and an adventure playground to explore and conquer. The small boy loved it and set to work building a den of his own. 

We managed to spot a fox’s tail hanging from a tree and following the signs found Fantastic Mr Fox’s Den. You could clamber inside and have a little sit down if you wanted, but the boy wasn’t keen, there was too much adventure going on elsewhere!

Fantastic Mr Fox

We had gone to Tatton Park wanting to explore a few of the Roald Dahl attractions, but we had far too much fun at the farm and didn’t have time to look at anything else – a treat we’ll save for another day.

To our shame we’d not read any of the Roald Dahl stories to the small boy (now aged 5), so we picked up a copy of Fantastic Mr Fox from the farm shop, took it home and began reading it together that night. We all loved it. It was nice to re-visit a story I’ve not read for *coughs* 30 years, and it was even nicer to read it to my boy who loved it as much as we did. 

The farm at Tatton Park is great, but it does have one failing – there’s no cafe so you can’t get a hot drink and have a sit down. You can buy crisps and biscuits etc from the farm shop, but it was a cold wet day and I was desperate for a hot mug of tea. So maybe take a flask if you’re just visiting the farm.

The small boy does enjoy a visit to the farm and this was even more special because we were looking for Fantastic Mr Fox. I think this is a marvellous addition and a real must for Roald Dahl fans. We are really looking forward to going back and exploring what else Tatton Park has to offer Roald Dahl fans this year.

What’s On: Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park

Growing up I was an avid reader, I’d devour book after book and my favourite author was most definitely Roald Dahl. His books always filled my head with extraordinary tales, and as he wrote in James and the Giant Peach – “a  little magic can take you a long way”. This year to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, Tatton Park in Cheshire are embarking on a magical journey to celebrate his works.

From Easter until the end of 2016, Tatton Park is is bringing Roald Dahl’s imagination to life, with a host of children’s trails and events for all the family. Join Danny the Champion of the World in the gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the farm and Matilda in the mansion and you’ve got to be careful of The Enormous Crocodile out in the parkland!

Tatton Park

I can’t wait to take my son to explore and discover the world of Roald Dahl, we’ll be visiting next weekend so do keep an eye out for our review. In the meantime here’s a run down of what’s going on at Tatton Park this year.

Roald Dahl at Tatton Park Events include –

Cover to Cover: Roald Dahl around the World  Sat 19 Mar – Sun 30 Oct
A fascinating mansion exhibition displaying illustrations of Roald Dahl book jackets from across the world and throughout time.

Phiz Whizzing Trails: Fri 25 Mar – Sun 2 Oct
Danny the Champion of the World in the Gardens
Fantastic Mr Fox at the Farm
Matilda in the Mansion
The Enormous Crocodile in the Parkland

Fantastic Mr Fox Activities at the Farm Tue 26 Jul – Fri 26 Aug
Mr Fox invites you to spend the most marvellous summer day joining him in a farmyard packed with fun. Go on a journey to find the den, get creative in the writing hut, be entertained, listen in to storytelling and enjoy one of your best days ever!

Danny the Champion of the World Outdoor Theatre at the Old Hall *Sat Aug 27
Enjoy this thrilling family performance of Danny the Champion of the World as he masterminds the most incredible and exciting plot to save his Dad from danger.

Roald Dahl Big Picnic Day Sun Sep 11
Pack a picnic and come and celebrate the month Roald Dahl, the world’s best storyteller, was born. Bags of activities to make for a splendiferous time.

Willy Wonka Outdoor Cinema* Sun Sep 11
A late summer screening of  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring the legendary Gene Wilder as Wonka. Grab your golden ticket and bring a picnic.*

A Frightsome Halloween Sat 22 – Sun 30 Oct
“Witches are easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth.” This half -term be spooktaculary entertained by a park full of Roald Dahl witchy mischief….and plenty of mice!

A Gloriumptious Christmas Mansion* late November – December
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. Step into the Christmas mansion and into Roald Dahl’s magical world as his extraordinary storytelling weaves itself through the grand staterooms and into the bustling servants’ quarters.

It looks like it’s going to be a jam-packed whizzpopping year of all things Roald Dahl – I can’t wait to explore and reminisce and I’m looking forward to taking the small boy on some fictional adventures and into a world of pure imagination.
Tatton Park