Friday, September 14, 2012

Looking Lovely

Yesterday, September 13 was Roald Dahl Day. It's held every year to celebrate the birthday of the bestselling children's book author.

As a young reader, Dahl books weren't my favorites.

From Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach and Matilda, I enjoyed reading Dahl's imaginative tales and characters, and yet shied away from the darkness and at times, pessimism that lurked in the corners of his books. I would usually read his novels once; they never made the "read once a year" book pile.

While I don't expect young adult readers to be light and airy, I think they should express some hopefulness and optimism for the future. Dahl books often failed to strike the right balance between light and dark for me.

In spite of this fact, Dahl was an exceptional writer and imparted great kernels of wisdom in his stories. Here's one of my favorites from his book, The Twits:

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. 
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

1 comment:

  1. We loved The Twits, and often gave my Dad (who has a full beard) a hard time about leaving crumbs in his mustache for later. Great quote. Thanks for the reminder about the "other side" of the books.