I have written before about our love for Roald Dahl books. My three older children love to read them. The girls, I admit, are book worms and will read practically anything, but Danny is still a reluctant independent reader. However, give him a Dahl story and the humour captures his imagination and he is gripped.
I’ve taken the kids to many Roald Dahl events over the years- at libraries, book clubs and galleries. Always keep a look out for Roald Dahl events in September, his birthday month, as there is always something on.
Also, when in Cardiff we visit the Roald Dahl Plass and the Roald Dahl Norwegian Church where his family used to worship- it’s now a pretty Arts Centre and Cafe.
This year, we are in luck as we also have the Happy Readers initiative.
· McDonald’s has partnered with the National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House Children’s UK and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to help encourage family reading time in the UK with the McDonald’s Happy Readers initiative.
· It just launched and is taking place for the next six weeks – McDonald’s will be giving away millions of books containing excerpts from some of Roald Dahl’s most loved stories in their Happy Meals.
There are also a number of Happy Readers events taking place:
Four lucky restaurants across the UK will be hosting a dramatic story telling of an excerpt from one of Roald Dahl’s amazing tales. With an enchanted set and entrancing theatre cast, Roald Dahl’s world is going to be brought to life in front of a captivated audience.
· On Sunday 11th October the McDonald’s restaurant on Lord Street in Liverpool town centre will transport readers of all ages into the magical world of Roald Dahl with a fantastical storytelling from Fantastic Mr Fox.
· Then on Saturday 17th October the action moves to the McDonald’s restaurant on Boucher Road in Belfast town centre for a wondrous storytelling from Matilda.
· On Saturday 24th October it’s Glasgow’s turn to have James and the Giant Peach brought to life in the McDonald’s restaurant on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow town centre.
· And finally, Saturday 31st October sees the McDonald’s restaurant on Queen Street in Cardiff town centre bring to life Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Sadly, we have to miss our local event in Cardiff as we already have Halloween plans, but it looks great! Maybe we will be lucky and win tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Live instead? (Click the link above to see how to enter).
There is also an app available. If you read the books aloud whilst using the Happy Studio app there are some exciting sound effects and interactive elements which really bring story-time to life for the little ones.
Of course, reading the stories is the most exciting part. Here are some storytelling tips from the National Literacy Trust to help you:
- Bring the story to life by using different voices for the characters.
- Make your child the author! Stop at exciting moments in the story and ask your child to invent what happens next.
- Make reading with your child a special time for you both, every day or week.
- Children of all ages love to hear stories read aloud. Don’t stop reading to your children just because they can read by themselves.
- Let your child help choose the books that you’ll read together. If your child is excited by the subject, the story will hold their interest better.
My tip is to make sure that everyone is comfortable before you start reading. Whether you’re on the floor, bed or sofa, cuddle up and relax.
McDonald’s has also carried out research into story time and can reveal the top five ingredients for extraordinary Roald Dahl-inspired storytelling, voted for by kids aged 5-11:
1. Funny voices to bring to life different characters (70%)
2. Sounds effects and strange, surprising noises (43%)
3. Facial gestures and expressions to make them laugh (27%)
4. Parents, grandparents and siblings taking it in turns to read (20%)
5. Acting out scenes from their favourite storybook (17%)
These tips are some of the reasons why parents and children both love Roald Dahl books. His characters have such personality. It’s easy to “put on their voices” and become the character. There are strange sound effects a plenty in his books too! My kids also like me to use their name in the story sometimes, so I may read Matilda as Rebecca. Kids are more likely to remember the unexpected.
|Oh dear, Danny doesn’t look happy as Mr Twit, but I can assure you he was- he was just tired!|
What are your favourite Roald Dahl books? We all have different favourites in our house and I think it’s good that there’s something for everyone in his collection.
Thanks to McDonalds for Sending the Books, Activity Books and Masks. All opinions are our own.