Of all the great children's authors who've created strange characters and magical worlds, few have left us feeling as happy, queasy, and all-around enchanted as Roald Dahl. So, as we all prepare for Mr. Dahl's 100th birthday this September, here are some Roald Dahl quotes that will make you instantly happy.
Like many kids, I devoured Roald Dahl books growing up. And, like many kids with low-grade anxiety, I found most of his work terrifying. I'm pretty sure I hid my copy of The Witches behind a book shelf. After reading Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, I was convinced that aliens were going to come for me in the night. And don't even get me started on that story about the dead swan from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.
But, like all great literature, his books also inspired me. The BFG reminded me that kindness matters most. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory taught me that not being horrible will get you a chocolate factory. And Matilda prompted me to spend hours reading and seeing if I could make spoons twitch with telekinesis.
So if you loved Roald Dahl growing up, these quotes will remind you why:
1. A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.
2. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.
3. 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 it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
4. Matilda said, "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...”
5. I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice.
6. Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.
7. So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.
8. It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren't feeling twinkly yourself.
9. If I were a headmaster I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead.
10. 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.
11. But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
12. “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.”
― The BFG
13. Mice, I felt pretty certain, all like each other. People don’t.
14. “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.”
15. “Meanings is not important,” said the BFG. “I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”
― The BFG
16. 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.
Images: Images: Wikimedia/Public Domain, Giphy (17)