Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl

A while back, as her second review, Marshmallow reviewed BFG by Roald Dahl. Today she wanted to write about the very first Dahl book she had read: Matilda. For this review she went back and reread it a couple times. Below is her review; enjoy!

Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Marshmallow reviews Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked some of Roald Dahl’s other books or if you like books about young people with supernatural powers, then this might the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Matilda Wormwood is an extremely amazing child with extremely dumb parents. She began to speak perfectly at age one and a half. She taught herself to read at age three, but her parents told her that she should stop talking because “small girls should be seen and not heard.” When her parents left home in the afternoon, she would walk to the library and read. Then she started school.

Matilda has a great teacher and she knows everything already, so school should have been easy for her, except that the principal, Miss Trunchbull, is a nightmare. Miss Trunchbull used to throw hammers in the Olympics and now throws little children instead to keep her right arm in practice. For example, there was a boy who was eating candy in class and Miss Trunchbull tossed him out of the window. After she threw him, she said that she had done a good job even though she hadn’t been practicing. (You’re probably wondering why the children wouldn’t just go home and tell their parents, but Miss Trunchbull makes sure that the stuff that she does is so ridiculous that no one would believe the children.)

Then one day, Miss Trunchbull comes into Matilda’s class in order to test them on what they have learned. But someone put a newt into Miss Trunchbull’s jug of water. Miss Trunchbull blames Matilda for the incident which makes Matilda mad. Matilda sits down but then something happens: she is able to magically push the glass that has the newt inside over on to Miss Trunchbull. Apparently Matilda somehow has the ability of telekinesis!

A lot more funny and strange things happen in the rest of the book. You will just have to read to find out how Matilda finally gets back on all the difficult and annoying people in her life.

Marshmallow is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl and enjoying the funny illustrations by Quentin Blake.
Marshmallow is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl and enjoying the funny illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book for people who like to read about fantastic things. Matilda is now a classic and has been enjoyed by many people. Roald Dahl entertains the reader well and the plot comes together nicely. The way Matilda gets rid of Miss Trunchbull is a way that most people wouldn’t think of, a way only Matilda would. And I wouldn’t have suspected what happened at the end.

Dahl also makes the characters hated by the reader or pitied by the reader. Matilda’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood are really annoying and Miss. Trunchbull is really mean. My favorite character is Matilda because she is smart and takes matters into her own hands when they get to be too much. I also like her because we read the story from her perspective so it is easy to be on her side.

I think this book is good for all ages. I think that most readers will like it. 

Matilda is also very funny. My two favorite chapters are The Ghost and The Platinum-Blond Man. The things Matilda does to the mean adults around her are not things that people should do though it is really fun to read.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%   

Marshmallow rates Matilda by Roald Dahl 95%.
Marshmallow rates Matilda by Roald Dahl 95%.

Marshmallow reviews The BFG, by Roald Dahl

In her second review Marshmallow shares her thoughts on an old favorite: Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Marshmallow reviews The BFG by Roald Dahl.
Marshmallow reviews The BFG by Roald Dahl.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like stories about orphans, or if you are a fan of Roald Dahl, then this might possibly be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): When Sophie is snatched out of her bed during the witching hour by some unseen horror that stifles her scream for help with a gigantic thumb and carries her to some unknown land, naturally she thinks that she is going to die. (The unseen horror turns out to be a giant, the Big Friendly Giant from the title of the book.) But when the giant starts a conversation about how human beans (beings) taste like, how Turks taste like turkey, and how people from Jersey taste like cardigans, and how Greeks taste greasy, she is very confused. At the end of the conversation, the giant proclaims that he does not eat “human beans” for snacks, and Sophie feels better.

“What a strange and moody creature this is, she thought. One moment he is telling me my head is full of squashed flies and the next moment his heart is melting for me because Mrs. Clonkers locks us in the cellar.”

Sophie soon learns that the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is the only friendly giant in the Land of Giants; all the others eat humans. Sophie thinks the BFG is “strange and moody”, but soon they become very good friends. The BFG is gentle and kind. Sophie is lonely.

In the afternoon, they see the other giants galloping off to England to eat people. (They apparently just grab them and eat them on the spot!) The giants always tell the BFG where they are going. For example, “We is off to Mrs Sippi and Miss Souri to guzzle them both!”  

Sophie and her new friend the BFG need to stop this massacre of human beans. Can the Queen of England help?

Marshmallow’s Review:I think that The BFG is a good book. It poses a lot of philosophical questions. For example: Are the giants that eat humans much worse than we are? At some point (page 71 in my edition of the book), Sophie says, “I think it’s rotten that those foul giants should go off every night to eat humans. Humans have never done them any harm.” The BFG answers, “That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day. He is saying ‘I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?`”

“That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day,” BFG answered. “He is saying `I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?`”

The illustrations by Quentin Blake help the reader imagine the characters in the story, especially how much bigger the giants are from the human beans. They are bigger than the BFG and Blake’s drawings help us see that.

This is a good book, but it can be frightening for kids younger than five. Sophie gets kidnapped by a giant at the beginning of the story, right from her bedroom in the middle of the night. When I was about five and my mom wanted to read this to me, I got really scared and so we had to stop reading.

Marshmallow’s rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates The BFG by Roald Dahl 90%. May the Force be with you!
Marshmallow rates The BFG by Roald Dahl 90%.