As we go through life, we sometimes realise that there are key elements which we have missed form certain time periods of our lives, for example never joining the Brownies. For me, (it came as a not so pleasant surprise) it was the fact that as a child I was never big on reading, so I never read all of the classic children’s literature. But now that I am an avid reader (thanks to J.K. Rowling), I was browsing the shelves of a second hand book store and came across what I believed to be my favourite Roald Dahl book (one of the only ones I had read), The Witches, only to find when I started the first few pages that I had in fact got my books mixed up and I had never read the story; it had always been on my ‘to do by the age of 10’ list. So a decade later I thought it must be fate that this book has landed in my lap on a Sunday afternoon and so I took to reading it.
The story is truly delightful, but I had to remember when I was reading it, to read in the mindset of a child; that way it made it much more fun! The story is written from the perspective of a little boy and Roald Dahl has captured the character’s essence perfectly, with the target audience the clear thinking theme throughout. As I read I was picturing a small class of children listening intently and squirming as their teacher said words like ‘dog droppings’ and ‘poo’. The beauty of it though, which made for such lovely reading, was the fact that in no way could it be real. The story-line hadn’t been over-thought about; it was as if a child had come up with the idea and Roald Dahl had just written it down using grown-up words.
If you want something to read your kids at night, to a class full of small children, or to take you back to your younger years, then I would definitely recommend The Witches. My recommendation may be slightly biased as it is the only one I have read for a very long time, but it was a little drop of pleasantness in my adult life.
“My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah my foes and oh my friends, it gives a lovely light” Roald Dahl