11 best Roald Dahl gifts
From whizzpopping toys to dictionaries explaining Gobblefunk, get a present to delight any Dahl devotee
This year would have seen the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl, one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors. To celebrate the centenary, The BFG has been recreated on the big screen by Steven Spielberg, delighting children and adults alike who grew up with the magical tale.
Since the Sixties, the wonderful books have swept across the literary world, and also made their mark on everything from homewares to jewellery. Here’s our pick of the gifts which will delight any Roald Dahl lover.
1. Roald Dahl Whizzpopping BFG Soft Toy: £16, John Lewis
This soft toy version of the Big Friendly Giant features one of his best qualities: rub his belly and one of eight “whizzpopping” sounds will play. It’s ideal for entertaining children of all ages, even from birth. The toy, based on Quentin Blake’s illustrations, has those unmistakeable big ears, and toes poking out of his sandals.
2. ‘You’ll Always Look Lovely’ Quote A4 Art Print: £15, Etsy
Despite The Twits being about a monstrous couple who hate everyone – and even each other – Roald Dahl managed to incorporate one his best-known quotes on beauty and happiness into the story. It’s a response to the physical and mental repulsiveness of the characters – Mrs Twit has ugly thoughts which make her uglier. His wise words are widely used and this cute picture will make anyone smile.
3. Roald Dahl: 15 Books Collection Pack: £20.60, Amazon
Every book-lover needs a set of Roald Dahl’s books. Even if you have a very young reader in mind, they’re something for tots to grow into and up with. The set, which includes 15 books from the terrifying The Witches to The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, comes in a handy little box to keep them together. Each book has the classic illustrations and a bright, modern cover.
4. Roald Dahl Quote Personalised Pendant: £75, Not On The High Street
Decorating this circular pendant is one of the author’s sweetest quotes. Taking the last line of his final book, Minpins, it reads: “Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.” The irregular surface gives the pendant a more unusual feel – after all, there’s nothing normal about the world Roald Dahl created. You can also choose the “good thoughts” quote from above if you prefer that one.
5. Roald Dahl Golden Ticket Cushion: £14, B&Q
One of the most memorable items from the Roald Dahl collection is Charlie’s magical golden ticket, which allowed him into the secret world of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. For your own slice of Wonka, plump this cushion on your own sofa – but unfortunately we can’t promise you entry into a world full of chocolate with this. Measures 30cm x 50cm.
6. Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary: £10.89, Hive
If you’ve ever wondered about some of the wildly inventive words in Roald Dahl’s books, collectively known as Gobblefunk, this is the book to explain it all – from the definitions of a trogglehumper and a ringbeller, to exactly what gruntles eggs are. As well as defining the bizarre words, it’s a perfect helper for children reading Dahl’s books, where they can also find out what inspired Dahl to create such a wondrous and entertaining vocabulary.
7. Roald Dahl Character Tea Towel: £10, Roald Dahl Shop
For the adult Roald Dahl fan – who also happens to be a homewares lover – a tea towel covered in Quentin Blake’s illustrations is a great gift. It features many of the best-known characters and elements of the stories, including Matilda’s books, Mr Twit’s bird pie, Willy Wonka’s sweets and James’ peach. But don’t save this one for best, as its adorable pattern will brighten up the boring task of drying your dishes.
8. Matilda Flaming Book Tote: from £6.99, Roald Dahl Shop
Just to show Matilda’s horrible parents that everyone loves to read, what better bag to carry your beloved books around in than this tote? Made from 100 per cent cotton, the bag features a colourful Quentin Blake illustration of the child genius sitting atop her prized books on the front, and a quote from her father on the back. And for eight pounds more, you can get a larger bag made of more long-lasting cotton.
9. Roald Dahl Nested Storage Boxes, Set of 2: £9, John Lewis
As an ode to Wonka himself, bake up your favourite sweet treats and store them in these air-tight tins. Both are decorated with original illustrations from the book. The smaller of the two nested tins has a scene from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on the lid with a sweet print on the base, while the larger tin, appropriately, features our favourite big friendly giant.
10. The BFG Frobscottle Popcorn: from £4 for 80g, Joe & Seph’s
What better way to enjoy Spielberg’s BFG film than with your very own Frobscottle popcorn? Designed to recreate the taste of the drink from Giant Country, this limited edition pouch from the family-run popcorn maker is a blend of caramel, raspberry and mint – undoubtedly tastier than what the giants have to cope with, and it won't leave you with the undesired effects of Frobscottle’s downward bubbles.
11. BrainBox Roald Dahl 10 Minute Challenge: £9.60, Roald Dahl
This is the Roald Dahl version of the popular memory game, Brainbox. Based on words from the author's books, the aim is to study a card for 10 seconds and then answer a question about it, based on the roll of a dice. Get the question right, and you get keep your card – the winner is the one with the biggest hoard of cards after five or 10 minutes.
The Twits quote picture is subtle enough to be hung in the lounge, where any other Roald Dahl fan will be able to share your joy of the books. For little fans, the whizzpopping BFG is endless fun while the set of books is something to treasure for a lifetime.
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