On being twinkly and finding magic

roald dahlThere are, obviously, quite a few Roald Dahl books on the list of 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. He is possibly the best children’s writer that has ever been. I read Danny the Champion of the World a couple of weeks ago, a book that I remember reading when I was much much younger. Roald Dahl is one of those authors who make me feel like it is okay that I like children’s books so much, despite being technically too old to be considered a child. I feel that if Roald Dahl can write books like the ones he created, and he was ethnically a grown up, that I can technically be a grown up and read them. I read this biography a little while ago (Storyteller – the Life of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock) and he had a fascinating life. I strongly suggest you reading it as well – Roald Dahl achieved so much in his life before he even wrote his first children’s story. I think that it was his rich and colourful life that made his stories so rich and colourful.

Back to Danny the Champion of the World – it has one of my favourite quotes from Roald Dahl – “It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. “

How wonderful.

Roald Dahl’s fantastical way of stringing words together has inspired me to collect my favourite of his quotes – have a read below. Which one is your favourite? Have I forgotten any gems?


“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.” 


“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” 

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it.

Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.

Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”


“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life.

He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is,

go at it at full speed ahead.

Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it.

Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either.

White hot and passionate is the only thing to be”


“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.

Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.” 

“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.”


“My dear young fellow,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently,

‘there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.” 


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you

because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” 



  1. Roald Dahl is a personal hero of mine 🙂 Glad you have included him.

  2. I love Dahl too. The BFG and The Minpins are my favourites so far. I haven’t read Danny yet.

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