Matilda is just my favourite book – it was written by Roald Dahl whose 100th birthday is commemorated today. Unusually for me, I think the film is equally wonderful and I watch it over and over again.
Matilda is a very special child, as all children are, but her parents just don’t understand her, not least her desire to go to school and learn – they just want her to watch TV with them. She is actually very clever, but she is also lost and alone.
Despite being left to her own devices by her parents, she manages to find her way to her local library. There she gets help from the librarian and starts to read and read, voraciously exploring all kinds of books, learning of other lands and peoples, going into their their worlds, experiencing their stories …
“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.” (From “Matilda” by Roald Dahl)
Not only does she explore the world by reading she also sets about learning by herself using all these books that she can borrow from her local library. Soon, by a curious set of circumstances she does end up at a school, but it is not at all how she imagined – anyway, I don’t want to give the story away, so if you haven’t read it please do, or watch the film !
The story of Matilda, for me, epitomises everything that Litrasaurus wants for children, indeed all of us: to stimulate imagination by the reading of books; to treasure our libraries and librarians; to share stories and experiences; and so much more.
Reading and writing stories is so magical. Sadly most people feel that it is difficult, or you need to be special to do it, so they don’t write … what nonsense ! Everybody and anybody can both read and write stories; in doing so they engage their imagination and connect to other people in so many ways, even those they may never meet … just like Roald Dahl, whose birthday we celebrate today, whose stories inspire children and bring joy into their lives even now, years after his death.
As Matilda herself said: “Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
This fabulous image is “Girl Imagination” designed by Freepik