Yes it’s a children’s book, Emma was surprised I hadn’t read it, but then it first appeared after my childhood had finished, unlike “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“, “James and the Giant Peach” and “Danny: Champion of the World“, which I read and enjoyed as a child.
If you are unfamiliar with Matilda she is an extraordinary child. Her parents think of her as nothing more than a scab. By the time she was three she had taught herself to read from the newspapers and magazines lying around the house, and as the only book was a cookery book, Matilda decided to take herself to the local library and after exhausting the children’s books read through Hemingway, Steinbeck, Dickens and a host of other grown ups’ authors. Matilda’s awful parents despise her reading. Her father, a crooked secondhand car dealer, rips up the library’s copy of Steinbeck’s Red Pony to Matilda’s dismay.
If her parents weren’t bad enough, the headmistress of her school Miss Trunchbull, was even worse, built like an East German shot putter, she hated kids and would happily hold them up by their hair or ears. Luckily Matilda is resourceful and makes plans to get the better of her parents and the Trunchbull, no one messes with Matilda and gets away with it.
Dahl is a master storyteller, who knows about bullying from his public school background (“Boy: Tales of Childhood” by Roald Dahl). The illustrations by Quentin Blake are wonderful and whimsical and perfectly suited to the book. Loved it.
My rating 5 out of 5