Monday, 22 October 2012

Roald Dahl


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To celebrate Roald Dahl , as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century",  Royal Mail has launched the stamp set featuring the original Quentin Blake  illustrations of Dahl’s best love characters on 10 January 2012. The issue consist of six single stamps and four stamps in miniature sheet format.
 



Six of Dahl’s most popular children’s stories feature on the Stamps - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Twits , The Witches, The Big Friendly Giant. 

 
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's book features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.

The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl's experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory.

It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.

 
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Fantastic Mr Fox is a children's novel  was published in 1970 by George Allen & Unwin in the UK and Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S., with illustrations by Donald Chaffin. Latest editions have featured illustrations by Quentin Blake (1996).

The story is about Mr Fox and how he outwits his farmer neighbors to steal their food from right under their noses.
The story revolves around an anthropomorphic, tricky, clever fox named Mr. Fox who lives underground beside a tree with his wife and five children.

In order to feed his family, he makes nightly visits to farms owned by three wicked, cruel, dimwitted farmers named Boggis, Bunce, and Bean and snatches the livestock or food available on each man's respective farm.

Tired of being outsmarted by Mr. Fox, the farmers devise a plan to attempt to shoot him by sneaking up on him a certain distance from his hole, blasting shots at their enemy, only to shoot off his tail.

 
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James and the Giant Peach is a Dahl’s popular children novel written in 1961 and  the original first edition published by Alfred Knopf featured illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. However, there have been various re-illustrated versions of it over the years.

It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1996. The plot centers on a young English orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and surreal cross-world adventure with six anthropomorphic insects he meets.

Originally titled James and the Giant Cherry, Dahl changed it to James and the Giant Peach because a peach is "prettier, bigger and squishier" than a cherry.

Because of the story's occasional macabre and potentially frightening content, it has become a regular target of the censors and is #56 on the American Library Association's top 100 list of most frequently challenged books.


 
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Matilda is a children's novel was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with illustrations by Quentin Blake.

The story written by Dahl  is about Matilda Wormwood, an extraordinary child with ordinary and rather unpleasant parents, who are contemptuous of their daughter's prodigious talents, and her discovery of her telekinetic abilities.

It was adapted into a film in 1996, a two-part adaptation for BBC Radio 4 (later re-broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra) starring Nicola McAuliffe as Matilda and narrated by Lenny Henry.



 
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The Twits is a humorous children's book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It was written in 1979, and first published in 1980. The Twits as a book has remained so successful since its publication in 1980 that it was adapted for the stage in 2007.

The Twits has occasionally made adults feel physically sick .The idea of The Twits was triggered by Dahl's desire to "do something against beards", because he had an acute dislike of them himself.

A hideous, vindictive, spiteful couple known as the Twits live together in a brick house without windows (as they believe that they are less likely to be spied on that way) with their abused, mistreated family of pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, and they continuously play practical jokes on each other out of hatred for one another.



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The Witches is a children's book by Roald Dahl, first published in London in 1983 by Jonathan Cape. The book, like many of Dahl's works, is illustrated by Quentin Blake. The book was adapted into a stage play and a two-part radio dramatization for the BBC, and a 1990 movie directed by Nicolas Roeg.

The book's witches, described as "demons in human form" are revealed in the opening chapters to be a constant threat to global security. While they look human, and look and act like normal human women, they are secretly plotting to kill every single child on Earth. No other reason for this is given, other than the foul stench children produce for witches.



 
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The miniature sheet presents the  one of Dahl’s most popular stories The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) . Quentin Blake recolored his original artwork especially for the miniature sheet stamps. The border features an illustration of the BFG meeting the Queen and a relevant quotation from the story.

The BFG (short for "Big Friendly Giant") is a Dahl’s children book written  and illustrated by Quentin Blake, first published in 1982. The book was an expansion of a story told in Danny, the Champion of the World, an earlier Dahl book.

The story is about a little girl named Sophie, after the author's granddaughter Sophie Dahl. One night, when Sophie cannot fall asleep during the "witching hour", she sees a giant blowing something into the bedroom windows down the street. The giant notices her, reaches through the window, and carries her to his home in Giant Country. Once there, he reveals that he is the world's only benevolent giant, the Big Friendly Giant or BFG, who operating in the strictest secrecy, collects good dreams that he later distributes to children. Sophie and the BFG become friends early on; later, she persuades him to approach the Queen of England with the aim of capturing the other giants to prevent them from eating any more people.


An animated film based on the book was released in 1989 with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie. It has also been adapted as a theatre performance. (Resources: Royal Mail Bulletin and Wikipedia)

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