by Roald Dahl
I have had way too many sleepless nights lately. Since Friday, I've had an average of 4 hours of sleep per night. As I lay in the dark, I find myself thinking of all of the "visitors" we teach our children to receive as they sleep: the Tooth-fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Sandman. The latter was never a friend to my son, but I remember him from my own childhood. I rarely clear my eyes in the morning without thinking of him. I just love the idea of a magical creature with a job!
Roald Dahl gives us a good, though unlikely, hero of the magical sort in his wonderfully humorous novel, The BFG. (BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant) This giant does his work during the witching hour-"that special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep-deep sleep and all dark things came out from hiding and had the world to themselves." (The BFG, pg. 10). You see, he is a "dream-blowing" giant. While all the other giants are galloping around the globe finding their favorite "human beans" to eat, Dahl's gentle, big-eared BFG is blowing dreams with his trumpet into the bedrooms of sleeping boys, girls, men and women.
One evening, as the BFG is delivering his dreams, he overhears a heart beating too loudly to be sleeping. He turns and spies a young girl, Sophie, staring at him. In a single step he is at her window, reaching through it and snatching Sophie and her covers from the bed in which she is hiding. After fashioning a bag of the blanket, the giant begins to run, slowly at first and then swiftly to Giant Country. Upon arrival, he drops Sophie to the ground and informs her that she is there to stay!
Just image the adventures they will find and the dangers they will encounter. Will Sophie survive in a land filled with "bonecrunching giants?" Or will the BFG take her home and risk being put into a zoo "with all those sqiggling hippodumplings and crocadowndillies?"
The book is a laugh a minute and is best read aloud, so that the reader and the listener(s) can laugh together at Dahl's jabberwocky (jabberwocky-a playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless words; nonsense; gibberish.).