Authors and Illustrators

Fun ideas for celebrating Roald Dahl Day

Hoorah! Roald Dahl Day is nearly here!

A fantabulous, splendiferous author of children’s stories, Roald Dahl has captured the imagination of millions of children world wide, spanning multiple generations of readers. On 13 September (Roald Dahl’s birthday), we celebrate his legacy: the works of this world-famous children’s author and the great man himself.

Roald Dahl Day


If you have little ones who are reading Roald Dahl books now (or if you have a soft spot for the world’s greatest storyteller), you may want to find out what things there are to do to celebrate Roald Dahl Day? Well, we have some phizz-whizzing ideas to get you started…

1. Read a book by Roald Dahl… of course!

This suggestion kind of goes without saying. With 15 books to his name that are recognised as children’s classics (he has far more, of course), pick up yourself one of Roald Dahl’s books and read it to yourself or your little ones. With famous tales including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Matilda and Fantastic Mr. Fox – along with the more grown-up rhymes for older children, stories and autobiographical writings – there is something in Roald Dahl’s jumpsquiffling gloriumptious collection of books for everyone.

Matilda | Roald Dahl | The Book People

2. Turn yourself (or your kiddle) into an Oompa-Loompa

A little orange face paint; a nice green wig – voila! You could even make some Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate treats for yourselves. Popping candy is a great addition to your simple, homemade rice crispy cakes to give them a great big dose of the Wonka-factor! Also, for making tasty treats it is important to make sure they have tremendous crodscollop - an absolutely great flavour! You can even visit the Puffin Books YouTube channel, where you’ll find a smorgasbord of Wonka-inspired treats from some of the nation’s top chefs.

Oompa-Loompa | Roald Dahl | The Book People

3. Pay a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum

What better way to celebrate the books of Roald Dahl than to visit the award-winning Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire? Create your own Wonka Bar, discover jumpsquiffling facts about your favourite Roald Dahl characters, take a guided tour of the village with your very own Oompa-Loompa or Mr. Willy Wonka himself and learn all about Gobblefunk: Roald Dahl’s own language (which you may have noticed we have tried to embrace within this post). Roald Dahl day is the perfect time to learn all there is to know about Roald Dahl.

Roald Dahl Museum | The Book People

4. Vote for your Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover on Facebook

Celebrating 50 years since its first publication, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has seen many different covers in its time, including the best-loved covers of his principal illustrator Sir Quentin Blake. On the Roald Dahl Facebook page this week, you can vote for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory edition that you own for your chance to win a copy of the classic children’s book signed by Quentin Blake and Joseph Schindelman: the first person to illustrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can cast your vote here: *Winners will be chosen on Roald Dahl Day and posted by the official Roald Dahl Facebook page.

*The Book People is in no way affiliated with this competition and its associated prizes.

Roald Dahl Facebook | The Book People

5. Catch a West End show

Demand is high for tickets, but if you book in enough time you’ll be able to engross yourself in the theatrical majesty of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Matilda: The Musical in London’s West End. Both absolutely delightful, and the later produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company with music from the wonderful Tim Minchin, either would prove to be a real treat for yourself and the kiddies on Roald Dahl Day.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | London West End

6. Watch a Roald Dahl-inspired film

There are lots of really good films inspired by Roald Dahl books and if you haven’t seen any of them before we’d certainly recommend it – even if the books are better. Our personal favourite would have to be Matilda, which is directed by and stars Danny DeVito as Matilda’s less-than-lovely father Mr. Wormwood. There are also the two – yes, TWO – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory films that you can enjoy (the second of which is directed by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka), along with The Witches, an animated version of The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and the Wes Anderson-directed Fantastic Mr. Fox (which stars George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson). Hours and hours of Roald Dahl Day entertainment!

Matilda | Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito

Hopefully this will provide you with some ideas for how to celebrate Roald Dahl Day. Remember to tag @thebookpeople with any photos showing you and your children enjoying the day on Twitter or Instagram – or post them along with any questions or ideas for other parents to our Facebook page.

Grab great coffee table books from the Book People

Looking for a great book that’ll snugly occupy that empty space on your coffee table as well as showing off your own personal sophistication to the rest of the world? Well, look no further than the Book People – because we’re currently offering a great deal on a range of top coffee table books. You can pick up any two coffee table books from our hand-picked selection for the bargain price of just £15.

Among the titles currently on offer in our range of coffee table books is Robert Dimery’s excellent reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, currently priced at only £9.99 from the Book People – a saving of more than £20 on the recommended retail price. If you know your Beach Boys from your Joy Division and your Velvet Underground from your Kraftwerk, this could be the perfect book for you. And even if you don’t, it’s ideal for anyone looking to broaden their musical horizons.

Meanwhile, for those who enjoy a nice glass of plonk we’ve got The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. This comprehensive volume provides extensive information about the various wines available and also includes 215 in-depth maps detailing the major wine-producing regions around the world. There’s also Debra N. Mancoff’s The Garden in Art, which explores some of the various depictions of garden scenes in art works throughout history.

Find out more about what’s on offer by taking a look at our selection of coffee-table books for yourself. But remember, this offer only won’t be available forever – so don’t wait around.

Julia Donaldson books – brilliant children’s stories

Julia Donaldson is one of the most popular authors of our time, and with her magnificent rhyming style and charming stories, it’s no wonder children all over the world have fallen in love with her characters. From the Gruffalo and its sequel the Gruffalo’s Child to Superworm, the Stick Man and Room on the Broom – all her books have quickly become bedtime favourites for toddlers. The great thing is her universal sense of humour and the way the text flows makes them just as good for parents or guardians to read aloud too.

At the Book People, Julia Donaldson has long been a favourite author with our customers and the former Children’s Laureate’s creative partnership with illustrator Axel Scheffler is especially well admired. As we know all our young readers are eager to get their hands on some of Julia’s best novels, we’re selling a 10-book collection for just £9.99 until 31 August 2014 – meaning not only do these picture books work out at less than £1 each, but you also save over £55 on what you’d be spending for them separately in the shops. There’s also a handy ziplock bag included so they can be taken wherever you go.

Sure to inspire a love of reading and highlight the joys of books from a very early age (suitable for children aged 3+), our collection contains famous Julia Donaldson stories like the Snail and the Whale and Goat Goes to Playgroup alongside the ever-popular Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom, which were both adapted into hit BBC animations over recent Christmases. With the help of illustrators like her regular collaborator Axel and Nick Sharratt (famed for his iconic work with Jacqueline Wilson), the books also have eye-catching and bold artwork that will capture the attention of even the most restless young reader. As well as these hugely popular titles, the collection showcases some of Julia’s lesser-known work like Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book and Freddie and the Fairy – books we believe are just as enchanting.

If you know a child who is just starting – or is yet – to discover the pure pleasure of reading and need a set to get them started, we can’t think of a better author than Julia Donaldson. Fun to read and share together, this collection is a dazzling, rhythmic delight.

Most popular children’s illustrators

From first picture books to modern classics, some of the finest children’s books of the last 40 years have not only comprised of the best stories or most compelling characters, but have also been filled with some of the most beautiful illustrations of our time – lifting the words from the page to bring the books to life.

With the new Penguin Modern Classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover dividing opinion among fans (an argument we can see both sides of to be completely honest), we thought this would be an ideal time to discuss the best children’s illustrators of all time.


Axel Scheffler

Plying his talents to the books of a number of great children’s authors including Jon Blake, Paul Shipton and David Henry Wilson to name but a few, Axel Scheffler is one of the most respected children’s illustrators of the post-War era.

Known for his distinctive cartoon-like pictures, and of course the works he has created with Julia Donaldson including The Gruffalo, the Stick Man creator’s bright, soft and approachable illustrations make them some of the best for young children.

The Gruffalo | The Book People

Korky Paul

A children’s illustrator who needs no introduction, Korky Paul’s creative, lively and wild watercolour illustrations could be considered to be in a somewhat similar style to the illustrations of Quentin Blake, but Korky Paul stands alone as a tremendous illustrator of children’s books and has done so for over 25 years.

Providing anarchic yet detailed artwork for some of the best-loved children’s stories of a generation, including Valerie Thomas’s Winnie the Witch, the wild characterisations, visual jokes and clever details are what make illustrations by Korky Paul stand out amongst the rest.

Korky Paul | The Book People

Nick Sharratt

A fine illustrator, and also an author in his own right, Nick Sharratt – the illustrator for over 40 books by the award-winning Jacqueline Wilson – somehow manages to put highly animated characters to page whilst utilising a very shallow depth of field.

Simplistic, joy-filled and bold, the Tracy Beaker illustrator – whose book collaborations and independent release sales top over £39 million – has won multiple awards for his illustrative efforts – and we can most certainly see why!

Nick Sharratt | The Book People

Rod Campbell

No list of children’s illustrators would be complete without Dear Zoo author and illustrator Rod Campbell: a classic picture book that taught generations of young bookworms to fall in love with charming story of a child who keeps receiving the wrong pets from the zoo.

Approachable, clear and always happy, when you see illustrations by Rod Campbell you know exactly what you are going to get from the book: a absolute bedtime winner!

Dear Zoo | The Book People

Dr. Seuss

The rhymes and colourful characters of the Dr. Seuss universe have been entertaining young children for years. Quirky rhymes coupled with the very human features of the Doctor’s less-than-average children’s characters combine to great effect.

Penning such classics as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax and many, many more, Dr. Seuss is sure to tickle the fancy of any reader who is yet to be entertained by the stark, minimally coloured illustrations.

Dr. Seuss | The Book People

Quentin Blake

Most famous for his work with the world’s best storyteller Roald Dahl, and with a Kate Greenway Medal and Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration to his name, Quentin Blake illustrations (or Sir Quentin Blake illustrations) are some of the most interesting you will find in children’s literature today; you can spot illustrations by Quentin Blake – a former Children’s Laureate – a mile off!

Charmingly imperfect and providing a child-like innocence to the dark undertones of Dahl’s books including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and many, many more, Quentin Blake’s illustrations (including those in his own children’s books) ooze distinctive character, irresistible humour and create an meshing between the page and pictures that no other illustrator is able to replicate.

Quentin Blake | The Book People


Nora Roberts – an author to love

With over 450 million (read that again, 450 MILLION!) books sold worldwide, Nora Roberts is a phenomenally popular author who has kept us entertained with her tales of love, lust and romance for many years. We’re delighted to bring Book People customers a very special 10-book collection of some of her finest novels for the price of just £9.99, an amazing saving of £69.91 on the price you’d pay for them all individually!

Nora Roberts collection

Featuring the likes of Irish Hearts, California Summer and Stars, each book is just perfect romantic fiction for reading while on holiday, curling up with in the evening sun or to see you through the rapidly approaching cold winter months. Whether you’ve enjoyed Nora’s bestsellers like Northern Lights or High Noon and are looking to read further or just want an introduction to one of the most popular romance writers around, this collection has everything you want.

A New York Times bestseller, Nora Roberts’ writing style is effortless and idealistic throughout. With stories that cover finding romance against the odds, love in the most unlikely places and the joys of a summer fling, this is pure escapist reading for you to fall for and read over and over again.

Buy the 10-book Nora Roberts Collection from the Book People for just £9.99 here.

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