Book Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

It took a child’s book to make me laugh out loud while reading, the last book that evoked a similar response was Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. (The scene in church still makes me laugh every time I picture it!).

I never watched Matilda the movie as a child, it is just one of those things that passed me by. But it was definitely worth the wait reading this book as an adult.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The book is funny from the first page. It starts by describing those parents who think that their children are just geniuses and pay too much attention to them. However, Matilda’s parents do not seem to realize she exists. From a young age, she learns to take care of herself, and by age three teaches herself to read. When she finishes reading everything in the house, which is not much, she walks to the library and starts tackling the books there. Whenever her parents ever pay attention to her, it is only to unfairly scold her so she hatches her own clever plans to get back at them. Her father’s is a crooked car salesman and her mother is addicted to gambling. Her elder brother goes to school so Matilda is left alone at home on most days, until one day the parents realize she is about 6 and a half years old and should have been going to school already.

At school, the headmistress is a mean old hag but Matilda forms friendships with some of the girls in her class and finds comfort in her wonderful teacher, Miss Honey. With the cast of characters fully introduced, Roald Dahl then weaves a wonderful story of Matilda’s adventures that is full of suspense and humour. If you haven’t read it, please do yourself a favour and read it, whatever age you are. And then gift the book to the children in your life, your sons/daughters, nephews/nieces, friend’s children, grandchildren etc.. It is suitable from anyone 8-15 I guess, but anyone can read it.

I must add that the illustrations by Quentin Blake are simply wonderful, clever, just so appropriate and add to the humour and flow of the story.

I also looked up the movie and watched it, it was good, but of course the book is much better. There are just some things written in the book that could not be expressed in the movie, so you may still want to read the book even if you have watched the movie.

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10 Responses to Book Review: Matilda by Roald Dahl

  1. woolie says:

    Matilda is an excellent story, Savvy -I read it as a kid. The movie is good but like you say the book is much better. I hope this has given you a taste for Roald Dahl. He wrote some pretty good stories for watu wazima too.Many of these are short stories, all of which come with a surprising twist in the tale. Roald Dahl hiself had a background almost as interesting as the backgrounds of the characters that he created. Did you know that he lived in the Fair Republic?


    • savvykenya says:

      He did, live in the Fair Republic you mean? I read a bit about him and how he had all these wonderful adventures. He is now firmly on my reading list of course, and I look forward to reading the children and adult books as well.


  2. Mackel9 says:

    You mean even if we have watched the movie? I have watched it, maybe just maybe many many years I will read it to my daughters and sons as bedtime stories… 🙂


  3. Modern Mom says:

    I’ll look for it.


  4. Pingback: The Book Review Post – 6 Books You May Want to Read | Savvy Kenya in Japan

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