* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page…
Today’s great book: Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl with great illustrations by Jill Bennett (1975, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.).
Time to Read: a chapter book; about 200 pages; 2 weeks reading every other night, about 20-25 minutes per reading.
Summary: From the back cover – “A daring…adventure story.”; “The hilarious adventures of Danny and the best dad a boy ever had.” This is the story of a young son who admires his father, and a father who loves his boy, the woods, and pheasants.
Best Quote: “I have decided something,” he said. “I am going to let you in on the deepest, darkest secret of my whole life.”
Our View: I can’t tell you how surprised we were by this book. There is nothing in the title or on the cover itself to give away what this book is really about and so it kept us wondering and guessing and then it all truly surprised us as this wonderful story unfolded. This is a book about how a son ultimately sees his father and it is glorious, truly a kind and wonderful work of classic writing that my kids (ages 8 and 13) loved right along with me (age 41). This is the book they couldn’t get enough of, and so often were late getting to bed because they wanted me to read “just one more chapter.” I don’t want to give away the plotline, but when you read it you will understand why I was so surprised at how much we loved this story. It is about hunting and poaching and pheasants and a father and son who live in a gypsy caravan right beside the gas station that they own in a little town in England. I will never forget how the three of us felt when we happened on the line, Danny the champion of the world, near the end of the book. It was as though that line, and therefore the title of the book, brought it all together for us and we understood the entire book’s meaning. This is a book that moved us and got us thinking and kept us talking long after we closed the final page. You need this book for all kinds of reasons…and only you and your kids will really know all the reasons. I’m thankful we found it and read it and now talk about it so often together. I’m more thankful that it is about a real dad, not a fancy dad or a wealthy dad or a genius dad…just a normal dad who loves his child, misses his deceased wife, and realizes that every single day is a good day for being a dad.
Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – “The Grapes of Stuff” – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.