Today is Roald Dahl Day, a celebration of the life of Dahl (1916-1990), the writer of children's novels who was born on this day in Llandaff, Wales.
Whether it's wearing clothing backwards or something yellow (his favorite color), swapping Dahl books, telling a silly joke, or dropping the word "gobblefunk" into a conversation, today is Dahl day.
"If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books,” he once said.
A less-than-stellar student who called school the "days of horrors," Dahl had a passion for writing at an early age. He served as a fighter pilot during World War II and following a serious crash, he was transferred to Washington D.C. and launched his writing career.
Best known for James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Dahl wrote in an "Inventing Room," his old garden shed; his creations captivated children... and adults... throughout the world.
He wrote: "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."
Bold and rude, Dahl was a master of unpredictable endings and ironic tone. With engaging wit, he elevated language and twisted words into clever newness--gobblefunk--in The BFG (1982). A celebration of imagination and play.
"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men," he said.
An advocate for literacy, he wrote to inspire children to read. "I want them to be able to absorb books, not be frightened of them," he said. "If you can teach them that at ages eight, nine, ten or eleven, they have a great start."
He wrote 21 books for children and over 50 stories for adults and his books remain among the world's most popular, selling over 50 million paperbacks in the UK alone.
"I never get any protests from children," he said. "All you get is giggles of mirth and squirms of delight. I know what young children like."
Here's to a happy ending...