Blog Tour: Celebrating 100 Years of Roald Dahl

8 September, 2016 Blog Tours 6 comments


Hello and welcome to the Happy 100th Birthday Roald Dahl blog tour!

I don’t know about you but Roald Dahl was a staple of my childhood so when Penguin was putting together this tour I jumped at the chance to be on it. I was momentarily stumped by what to talk about, he’s written SO MANY BOOKS and of that bibliography I have SO MANY FAVS and if you know me, you know I am absolute garbage at picking favorites.

So, I’m cheating. I’m not talking about any one specific book, I’m combining my childhood love with my adulthood career/interest and talking about the cover illustrations (have I mentioned I like and do cover design? Have I talked about that to death and back?)
When I think of Roald Dahl, the wacky and weird illustrations are every bit as iconic as the stories themselves.




Look at them. They perfectly capture the creepy whimsy that characterizes Dahl’s books.

Settle in guys, here comes the nerdalicious history lesson.

Who is the genius behind these covers? Well, that would be Quentin Blake, children’s book illustrator extraordinaire.

Blake is a bit of a legend. Over the course of his 50+ year career he’s hand illustrated over 300 children’s books (covers and interiors) including the first Dr. Seuss book Suess didn’t illustrate himself. Most recently he illustrated the newly discovered Beatrix Potter book, The Tale of Kitty-In Boots at the age of 82. He’s won loads of awards, including the inaugural UK Children’s Laureate and, also, he’s a knight. Like I said, a bit of a legend.

His collaboration with Roald Dahl is arguably his most consistent and prominent partnership. Around about 1975, Dahl was shopping around for a new publisher and was paired up with Blake to illustrate The Enormous Crocodile, a boundary-defying tale of a child-eating crocodile (I have a feeling Dahl was the type to spit at any but someone think of the childrens sort of arguments but that’s just me).


Though Dahl was reportedly initially wary of any lasting relationship with Blake, the collaboration was a success and their partnership was born. Blake’s had a knack for bringing to life the magical juxtaposition of weird, slightly off-putting subject matter and warmth and magic of Dahl’s stories.

The juggernaut pair worked closely together (Dahl once mailed Blake his sandal to use as a model for the BFG’s shoes) right up until Dahl’s death and Blake continued working with his writing posthumously, including re-illustrating all of Dahl’s work pre-crocodile era and a number of books associated with Roald Dahl.







And more.

About Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children's stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach - when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.
Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film. Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans. 
Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

For more information please visit * Don’t forget to hashtag #roalddahl100

Instagram: @roald_dahl * Don’t forget to hashtag #roalddahl100


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, generously provided by Penguin, for a chance to win a Roald Dahl prize-pack.

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Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.
Meg Morley
@CathyRoberts73 that is such an unhelpful response when you're feeling stabby - 1 hour ago

6 Responses to “Blog Tour: Celebrating 100 Years of Roald Dahl”

  1. Kate Copeseeley

    Meg you are giving me so much nostalgia right now. I did have a fave and mine was Danny the Champion of the World. I’m not sure why, looking back on it. They were thieves, haha. But maybe there was a bit of the rebel in me. 🙂

  2. Carina Olsen

    Gorgeous post Meg 😀 Thank you so much for sharing about this. <3 I have never read a book by Roald Dahl.. ahh. But I am SO curious about all of them 😀 They all look gorgeous. I remember seeing The Witches, the movie, years ago, which I loved so much, lol.

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I love this post. Roald Dahl is a staple of practically all children’s reading journeys. He certainly was on mine. I had completely forgotten about The Enormous Crocodile until this post even though it was a favourite of mine as I was growing up. Roald Dahl wrote some very weird but utterly charming reads and he really was a one of a kind author.

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