“A stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is SPARKLY!”
This is the message that author Roald Dahl gives to children who have just finished reading Danny, the Champion of the World, published in 1975. It is a fine way to sum up the premise of this beloved children’s classic.
A father and son live in a caravan and find themselves in a big pickle when they go poaching pheasants on a neighbour’s property.
This timeless story was read out loud to me by my wonderful Grade 4 teacher. The delightful way he had of telling the story and the masterful way that Dahl had with words, enthralled me then and has stayed with me all these years later.
Many things about this book made lasting impressions on me. Such as:
1. The magic of gasoline engines. Taking a thousand different bits of metal, fitting them together in a certain way, feeding them oil and gas and they jump to life! How cool is that.
2. Tickling a trout will put them to sleep, thus making them easy to catch. Haven’t tried that one yet, but it sounds intriguing.
3. The fact that children can outsmart adults and save the day. Of course, nothing is more amusing to a child than a grown up making a complete fool of themselves.
Now that I am a grown up myself, I wistfully remember those silly times of my childhood. Like when my mum would take us into the forest to search for gnomes and fairy circles (no pheasants were involved.) Or when my dad would make up elaborate stories on long car drives that started with the road sign, Watch for Rock on Road.
Those were definitely sparkly adventures!
If you are looking to create some lickswishy memories over the upcoming spring break, pop into the Summerland Library and sign your child up for our Dahl-icious reading challenge.
From March 16 to 29, read your favourite books, complete the activities on the sheet and bring it back for a prize. Do all of the activities and receive a free book. The challenge is open to all readers up to age 12.
Some of the activities in the Dahl-icious reading challenge are read upside down, read a revolting rhyme, and of course, read a book written by Roald Dahl.
Bring your library card and checkout titles like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
My favourite challenge on the sheet is to read out loud to a librarian. We love listening to stories, that’s part of what makes us splendiferous!
We also hold the golden ticket to win a scrumdiddlyumptious prize.
See you at the library.
Caroline McKay is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.