BOOK REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox – by Roald Dahl

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Title: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children, Fantasy, Fiction
First published: 1970
Finished reading: January 8th 2016
Pages: 81
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“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”

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Roald Dahl is easily one of my favorite childhood authors and every once in a while I like rereading one of his books. Browsing his books for another reread the other day I realized I couldn’t remember if I had ever read Fantastic Mr. Fox… And I decided to change that immediately. I enjoyed reading this children story, although I have to admit it’s not as good as some of his other work. Still, he writes in a way that will win over any child’s heart whether they read it themselves or you read it to them. Quentin Blake‘s illustrations maybe are not the prettiest, but they fit well and bring back memories of my own childhood reading Roald Dahl‘s books. Mr. Fox and the other animals all have different personalities as do the three farmers… I definitely would have enjoyed this read as a kid and I would definitely recommend it to someone with young children. And for us adults: it’s not his best work and it might get a bit boring… If you haven’t read anything Roald Dahl yet, I wouldn’t recommend reading this one first.

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Someone has been stealing animals from the three mean farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys… Boggis, Bunce and Bean have had enough and join forces to catch the thief. They already know who did it: Mr. Fox! The farmers decide to get rid of him forever and have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. But Mr. Fox isn’t just any fox and very clever. He comes up with a plan to fool the farmers and save his family from starvation…

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Fantastic Mr. Fox isn’t my favorite, but it still very much shows it was written by Roald Dahl. I really like his writing style and it’s perfect for children with just the right dose of humor and adventure. The illustrations combine well with the text and I would definitely read this story to small children. I’m sure they would love it…

WWW Wednesdays #73 – January 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I finally picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and so far I’m absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to continue reading it later today! Looks like this is one of those books that is actually worth the hype around it…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. A very good middle grade story that has a good mix of fantasy and scary elements and I really liked the prose.
* I then finished All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this historical fiction novel. Such an original, beautifully written and emotional story!
* I was in the mood for another crime read so I picked up Confessions Of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson. It’s the first time I read a Patterson YA novel, but I flew through the pages and it was a really entertaining read.
* Afterwards I decided to read Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl since it has become a tradition to reread at least one or two Roald Dahl books a year. He is one of my favorite childhood authors and I always love rereading his work. This is not my favorite, but still good.
* The last book I finished during the read-a-thon was Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid.  I can’t say I was impressed by this one. It wasn’t terrible but there were some parts that really bothered me…
* The last book on this list, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, was not as great as I would have thought either. It’s definitely a dark, twisted and disturbing read with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending, but it took me a long time to actually finish it and I didn’t like the characters…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC waiting for me: Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. This book set in the 13th century is a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and I’m really looking forward to it! I really should read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings as well, so I can at least start finishing all those poor neglected series… Although I will probably read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng first. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick.

BOOK REVIEW: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – by Roald Dahl

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Title: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
(Charlie Bucket Series #1)
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children, Fantasy, Fiction
First published: 1964
Finished reading: January 31st 2015
Pages: 189
Rating 3,5

“Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”

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I was looking for something interesting to watch on TV the other day when I bumped into the Johnny Depp version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. I immediately started craving both chocolate and a Roald Dahl reread… And I decided to just give into both temptations. I’ve always loved Dahl‘s books as a kid and while this reread as an adult takes away some of its magic, there is no doubt I would read this to my hypothetical child. This is the perfect book for funny voices and reading out loud to kids! Plus, it’s about the most amazing chocolate factory ever, and who doesn’t like something sweet? 3.5 stars for the high nostalgic factor and great prose for children. The excessive use of exclamation marks does become annoying when you read it as an adult, beware!

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Willy Wonka is finally opening his world famous chocolate factory, but under one condition: only five children and two of their relatives will be allowed inside. Wonka has hidden five golden tickets inside his chocolate bars, and soon the world is going crazy trying to find the tickets. Soon four tickets were found; the first a fat boy named Augustus Gloop, the second a spoiled brat named Veruca Salt, the third Violet Beauregarde the gum-chewer and the last Mike Teavea, the boy who doesn’t like chocolate but loves his TV. Poor Charlie Bucket didn’t have the same chances at finding the golden ticket. His family is only able to buy him one chocolate bar a year, but luck is finally at his side. The day before the factory visit, he finds money on the street and when he uses it to buy chocolate he finds the golden ticket! He and his grandpa are now going inside the factory as well, and they will never be hungry again with the lifetime supply of chocolate Willy Wonka gives to all five winners. And that is not all; at the end of the visit Willy Wonka will pick one child that wins a special prize!

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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory brings back great memories. Even though I did enjoy the novel less as an adult, this is still without doubt a perfect book to read with or to children. There are a lot of funny moments and the prose perfect for kids. Recommended!

WWW Wednesdays #25 – February 4th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

allegiantI decided to put And The Mountains Echoed on hold for a while and read other books first… It was really good so far but I’m not exactly in the mood for it, so I prefer leaving it be for now. I’m currently reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the last in the Divergent series. This one has been on my TBR pile for ages, mostly because I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the ending and I didn’t really enjoy the second book as much as Divergent either. But, since one of my reading goals is to finish various series I’ve started previously, I decided to finally pick up Allegiant. I’m about a third into the book right now and so far it’s ok, although I still wish there would be less romance scenes between Tris and Tobias/Four.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

underdarkskiescharlieandthechocolatefactoryI’ve done a Roald Dahl reread after seeing the Johnny Depp movie version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory last Saturday. Although I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I was a kid, I still think Dahl was a genius and his books are perfect reading material for children. Great to read to them with funny voices! Yesterday I was also able to finish Under Dark Skies, an ARC novel by A.J. Scudiere I ended up loving. It’s a forensic mystery/crime novel with a supernatural twist; definitely recommended!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thesecretgardencrownofmidnightLike last week, I’m still not sure what to read next. I have book two and three in the Throne Of Glass series lined up and waiting for me, but I should also make a dent into my TBR pile challenge list. A possible title could be The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; the outcome of my latest attempt of using the TBR jar…

BOOK REVIEW: The Witches – by Roald Dahl

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Title: The Witches
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children, Fantasy, Fiction
First published: 1983
Finished reading: November 22nd 2014
Pages: 208
Rating 4

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”

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I was feeling nostalgic the other day, and decided to to a Roald Dahl reread. He is one of my favorite childhood authors, and his prose is entertaining for both young and old. Since I needed a book about witches for the Bookish Bingo challenge, I decided to pick up a copy of The Witches this time. It is not my favorite Dahl read, but still very much entertaining! I just love the way he describes the whole situation and the ‘real’ witches. Some of the descriptions and prose are actually quite hilarious! All in all it makes for an excelent and easy book to read alone or together with children.

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This story is not about the fairy-tale kind of witches… There are REAL witches out there who can disguise themselves to look like ordinary ladies. But they are as evil as their fairy-tale sisters, and if you pay attention you can recognize them. When his parents die, the boy has to live with his Norwegian grandmother. She is a retired witchhunter, and tells him all about them. Real witches wear wigs, gloves and don’t have toes. Real witches think that children actually smell like dog droppings!

When they go to the coast on a short holiday, they actually run into a full blown witch meeting! Once a year the witches of every country get together to meet the Grand High Witch, and this year the English witches chose their hotel. The boy is soon discovered by them and won’t ever be the same… And soon both he and his grandmother are looking for a way to destroy the witches. Will they succeed?

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A very entertaining and light read with a brilliant prose that is at times even hilarious. The Witches might not be his best or most famous work, but it is definitely recommendable anyway. Roald Dahl was without doubt a genius and his work is timeless!

WWW Wednesdays #19 – November 26th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

innocence6539I’m still reading Innocence by Dean Koontz and I’m glad I waited a bit before continuing with this book. I’m loving the beautiful prose Koontz uses in this novel! I will probably finish this one before the weekend if I can find some reading time… I’ve also started The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell, a crime novel I needed for my Bookish Bingo challenge. I’ve had a bad experience with this author in the past, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed this one ends up to be better.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

harrypotterandthegobletoffirethewitchesI finished reading the fourth book of the Harry Potter series: The Goblet Of Fire last week, as well as The Witches by Roald Dahl. I guess it seems like I needed some light reading before continuing with Innocence! Both were rereads and belong to my favorite childhood reads… They are just magical!

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Honestly? I don’t know. It will be a title that I can fit into the Bookish Bingo challenge, since I only have to fill in 7 more squares after finishing my current reads… Which is totally doable so I will try to actually complete this challenge. Which square and book to pick first though, I really can’t decide…

BOOK REVIEW: James And The Giant Peach – by Roald Dahl

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Title: James And The Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children, Fantasy, Classics
First published: 1961
Finished reading: January 8th 2014
Pages: 144
Rating 4

“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.”

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Roald Dahl formed a big part of my reading childhood, and I must have read each of his books at least a dozen times when I was young. James And The Giant Peach maybe isn’t the most famous story (others like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory or Mathilda would come first on that list), but its story about adventures on a giant peach is endearing. I was feeling sentimental the other day and since I couldn’t remember the exact details of James And The Giant Peach I decided to read it again. The book doesn’t disappoint adults either; I was still sucked into the story with the help of Roald Dahl‘s imagination and writing skills. It is and also a great story to read out loud to children!

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The story is about a boy James who lives with his two horrible aunts Sponge and Spiker after his parents died. He is feeling truly unhappy, until one day something ‘peculiar’ happened. A bag full of green magic things changed his life and that of his new friends: a bunch of bugs. They escape the aunts in a giant peach and together they travel and have a lot of fantastical adventures.

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Who as a kid wouldn’t have liked to see the Cloud-men who make the weather, to watch a peach flying because of hundreds of seagulls attached to it, to visit the peach-pit house James lives in in Central Park? Recommended if you want to feel young again, even if it’s only for the duration of the book. And perfect to entertain children as well!