Roald Dahl's collection of children's books is a delightful and enchanting world full of whimsy, wonder, and imagination. Dahl is a master storyteller, weaving magical tales that transport readers to far-off lands, introduce them to extraordinary characters, and take them on incredible adventures.
His books are beloved by children and adults alike, and have been captivating audiences for generations. From the mischievous Matilda to the fantastic Mr. Fox, Dahl's books are a must-read for anyone who loves a good story that sparks the imagination and leaves you with a smile on your face.
Here are 30 titles from Roald Dahl, ranked in order to their average user rating, to add to your bookshelves.
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - 4.8/5 (6,696 reviews)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fantastic book to read to a child. It is a fun and imaginative story about a young boy named Charlie Bucket who wins a tour of the mysterious and magical chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka.
"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men."
The book encourages creativity and imagination, as it features fantastical elements such as a chocolate river and edible grass. Its story contains valuable life lessons about the importance of honesty, kindness, and perseverance, making it an enjoyable and educational read for both children and adults.
2. Matilda - 4.8/5 (3,989 reviews)
Matilda tells the story of a young girl with extraordinary powers who is determined to overcome the challenges she faces in her life. The story is filled with twists and turns that will keep your child engaged and eager to find out what happens next. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is both entertaining and thought-provoking, making it an excellent choice for bedtime reading.
"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."
Matilda also has excellent educational value. The book touches on important themes such as the power of knowledge, the importance of standing up for oneself, and the value of friendship. Your child will learn important life lessons while enjoying a captivating story.
3. James and the Giant Peach - 4.7/5 (2,443 reviews)
James and the Giant Peach is a book that is sure to spark your child's imagination and creativity. The story is filled with larger-than-life characters, including talking insects and a giant peach that travels across the ocean. Your child will be transported to a world of fantasy and adventure, and will be inspired to create their own stories and characters.
"Never wait for anything to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honour your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth."
While James and the Giant Peach is a fun and whimsical story, it also contains valuable life lessons that your child can learn from. The book teaches the importance of friendship, teamwork, and perseverance in the face of adversity. Your child will learn important values and skills that will serve them well throughout their life.
4. The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) - 4.7/5 (1,828 reviews)
Roald Dahl's book, The BFG, is a fantastic read for children for two main reasons. Firstly, it is a heartwarming story about the unlikely friendship between a young girl named Sophie and a Big Friendly Giant who embarks on a mission to save the world from evil giants.
"We is in Dream Country... This is where all dreams is beginning."
Secondly, it is filled with Dahl's trademark wit, humour, and imaginative storytelling that will capture your child's imagination and keep them engaged from beginning to end.
5. The Witches - 4.7/5 (1,317 reviews)
Roald Dahl's The Witches is a great read for kids - it is a thrilling and spooky story about a young boy who discovers a secret society of witches and their evil plot to turn children into mice.
"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you."
The book teaches important lessons about bravery, friendship, and standing up to bullies. And it's full of Dahl's trademark humour, wordplay, and imaginative storytelling, making it an engaging and enjoyable read for kids of all ages.
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox - 4.7/5 (912 reviews)
Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox is a great book for several reasons. It is a thrilling adventure story about a clever and cunning fox who outwits three farmers who are determined to catch and kill him.
"'My father used to say,' said Mr. Fox. 'Fantastic Mr. Fox! The most fantastic fellow in the world!' And when I get to be old, like you, I shall start writing about all my fantastic ideas and adventures and all the exciting things I'm going to do.'"
The book celebrates the virtues of resourcefulness, perseverance, and the power of teamwork, while also showcasing Dahl's signature humor and wit. Additionally, the story is beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake, adding to the overall charm of the book and making it visually appealing for readers of all ages.
7. Danny the Champion of the World - 4.7/5 (753 reviews)
Roald Dahl's Danny Champion of the World is heartwarming and celebrates the special bond between a father and son. It also teaches important lessons about the value of resourcefulness, determination, and standing up for what is right.
"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 they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
Additionally, the book features Dahl's trademark wit and imaginative storytelling, making it an engaging and enjoyable read for children of all ages.
8. George's Marvellous Medicine - 4.7/5 (505 reviews)
George's Marvellous Medicine is a children's book written by Roald Dahl about a young boy named George who creates a magical potion to cure his grumpy grandmother.
"Never grow up...always down."
The potion, made from all sorts of household items, causes his grandmother to grow to an enormous size and leads to a series of hilarious and chaotic events.
9. The Twits - 4.7/5 (421 reviews)
The Twits by Roald Dahl is a charming and whimsical tale that will delight boys and girls of all ages. This entertaining story follows the misadventures of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, a mischievous and comically grotesque couple who are constantly playing nasty tricks on one another.
"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
Despite their unlikable personalities, the Twits ultimately learn a valuable lesson about kindness and the consequences of their actions. With its playful language and imaginative illustrations, The Twits is a must-read for kids who enjoy a good laugh and a heartwarming story.
10. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me - 4.6/5 (240 reviews)
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl is a delightful and heartwarming story that will capture the imaginations of children of all ages. The story follows a young boy named Billy who becomes friends with an unlikely group of creatures - a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey - who run a unique window-cleaning business.
"We have dreams and plans and schemes, enough to fill any dream-bag. And we'll keep them tightly tied up with string, until we're ready to open them up and spread them out like a picnic blanket on a sunny day."
With its whimsical characters and clever plot twists, this charming tale is a joy to read from start to finish. As always, Dahl's writing is witty, playful, and full of heart, making The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me a true gem in children's literature. It teaches valuable lessons about teamwork, perseverance, and the power of friendship.
11. The Magic Finger - 4.6/5 (222 reviews)
The book tells the story of a young girl named Lucy who possesses a magic finger that can transform people into animals when she becomes angry with them. The book has themes of empathy, kindness, and the power of imagination, which are important values for children to learn.
Dahl's writing style is also known for being imaginative, humorous, and engaging, which can capture the attention of children and make reading the book an enjoyable experience. The book is typically recommended for children ages 7-10, but children of all ages can enjoy it.
12. Esio Trot - 4.6/5 (218 reviews)
Esio Trot by Roald Dahl is generally suitable for children ages 7-10 years old, though it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The book is a charming tale of Mr. Hoppy, an old man who is secretly in love with his neighbour, Mrs. Silver. She is the owner of a pet tortoise, Alfie, and Mr. Hoppy comes up with a plan to win her affection by using a magical spell to make Alfie grow larger.
Overall, Esio Trot is a heartwarming and entertaining book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Its charming characters, positive themes, and engaging storytelling make it a classic in children's literature.
13. The Enormous Crocodile - 4.6/5 (214 reviews)
The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl is suitable for children aged 5-8 years old, though it can also be enjoyed by older children and adults. The book tells the story of an enormous crocodile who wants to eat children for his lunch and the other animals in the jungle who try to stop him.
Furthermore, the book's colourful illustrations, done by Quentin Blake, make it visually appealing and help bring the story to life.
14. The Vicar of Nibbleswicke - 4.6/5 (165 reviews)
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke is a children's book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It tells the story of a new vicar who comes to the town of Nibbleswicke and discovers that he has a rare condition that causes him to use words in the wrong order.
It is an entertaining and humorous read for children. Dahl's writing style is known for being witty and engaging, and the story's unusual premise and quirky characters make it a fun and enjoyable read. In addition to being entertaining, "The Vicar of Nibbleswicke" can also be a useful tool for teaching children about language and communication. The book can help children understand the importance of clarity and how misusing words can cause confusion and misunderstandings.
15. The Complete Adventures of Charlie and Mr. Willy Wonka - 4.6/5 (155 reviews)
The Complete Adventures of Charlie and Mr. Willy Wonka is a book by Roald Dahl that combines two of his most famous works: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. It tells the story of a young boy named Charlie Bucket who wins a golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory, and later goes on a space adventure with Wonka and his family.
The book is suitable for children ages 8-12 years old and has several positive themes and messages that can be beneficial for children. It teaches the value of hard work, honesty, and kindness, and encourages readers to use their imaginations and embrace their inner childlike wonder.
16. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More - 4.6/5 (144 reviews)
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More is a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl, featuring tales of mystery, adventure, and the unexpected. The stories in the book range from lighthearted and humorous to dark and thought-provoking.
The book's stories often have deeper underlying themes and messages that can be beneficial for readers. For example, the titular story The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar teaches the importance of empathy and using one's abilities for good, while The Swan explores the dangers of greed and materialism.
The book is suitable for older children, teens, and adults. Its darker themes and more complex storytelling may not be appropriate for very young readers, but older readers will appreciate the book's depth and complexity.
17. Boy: Tales of Childhood - 4.6/5 (142 reviews)
Boy: Tales of Childhood is an autobiographical book written by Roald Dahl, detailing his childhood experiences and adventures. It makes for a great read for children aged 9-12, and provides a fascinating insight into the life of one of the most beloved and iconic children's authors of all time.
One of the reasons why this work of literature is so popular with boys and girls is because it shows them that even the most successful and accomplished adults were once children with hopes, dreams, and fears. The book's humorous and engaging storytelling style can help children relate to the experiences and emotions of their own childhoods.
18. The Gremlins - 4.5 (122 reviews)
Roald Dahl's "The Gremlins" is a children's book that tells the story of mischievous creatures who live in airplanes and cause trouble for pilots during World War II. The book is suitable for children aged 7-12 years old.
One of the reasons why "The Gremlins" is a great read is its imaginative storytelling and engaging characters. The book's whimsical and lighthearted tone, combined with its playful illustrations by Disney artist Bill Justice, make it a fun and entertaining read for children.
19. Revolting Rhymes - 4.4 (99 reviews)
Roald Dahl's "Revolting Rhymes" is a popular children's book that takes well-known fairy tales and gives them a twisted, humorous, and sometimes gruesome twist. The book is popular for several reasons: the combination of familiar stories with unexpected twists; the rhyming and rhythmical nature of the text; irreverent humour and "gross-out" factor; and illustrations by Quentin Blake.
20. Dirty Beasts - 4.4 (41 reviews)
Roald Dahl's "Dirty Beasts" is a popular children's book that features a collection of humorous poems about mischievous and often disgusting animals. The book remains a coveted item in libraries and schools due to its humour and playfulness of the poems, the colourful and expressive illustrations by Quentin Blake, the way the book engages children's imaginations, and how the book celebrates creativity and imagination.
21. The Twits: A Set of Plays - 4.3 (657 reviews)
Roald Dahl's The Twits is a great book for children for a few reasons. Firstly, it is a hilarious and absurd story about a mean-spirited couple who play terrible pranks on each other. Secondly, it teaches important lessons about the consequences of being cruel and the value of kindness and empathy. Finally, the book is full of Dahl's clever wordplay and creative descriptions, making it an enjoyable read for both children and adults.
22. The Minpins - 4.3 (126 reviews)
The Minpins by Roald Dahl is a great book for children for several reasons. The imaginative and engaging storytelling can capture children's imaginations and inspire them to think creatively. Little Billy, the relatable and likeable character, and the charming Minpins with their unique personalities make the story even more endearing.
The book explores important themes such as courage, bravery, and the importance of standing up for oneself, while emphasising the importance of listening to one's intuition and trusting oneself. The beautiful and detailed illustrations by Patrick Benson help bring the magical world of the Minpins to life and add an extra layer of enjoyment to the reading experience.
23. Rhyme Stew (210 reviews)
Rhyme Stew by Roald Dahl features a collection of humorous and irreverent poems that can capture children's imaginations and inspire them to think creatively. The playful and witty language in the poems can make children laugh and keep them engaged. The characters in the poems are often larger than life, with exaggerated personalities and behaviours, which can engage children's imaginations and inspire them to create their own stories and characters.
The book celebrates the power of creativity and imagination and encourages children to think outside the box. The colourful and expressive illustrations by Quentin Blake, who is known for his whimsical and expressive style, bring the characters and stories to life and add an extra layer of enjoyment to the reading experience.
Reading and drawing Roald Dahl characters
If you're a fan of Roald Dahl's wonderful world of children's books, then you know just how memorable his characters are. From Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas to the BFG and Sophie, his characters are instantly recognisable and beloved by readers of all ages.
Why not take your love of his stories one step further and learn to draw these characters yourself? Not only will it bring these delightful characters to life on the page, but it's also a fun and engaging way to explore your own creativity. So grab a pencil and paper and start drawing your favourite characters from Dahl's stories today!