Authors and Illustrators

Roald Dahl Day dress-up ideas

matildadressupWith this month seeing 100 years of Roald Dahl, what better way to bring his stories to life than fancy dress? Whether your school is dressing up, or you’re simply a big fan of the books, here are just a few ideas to help you and your little ones celebrate the Roald Dahl Day festivities in style.


A BFG costume can be simple for even the littlest of fans, fashion a pair of oversized ears and team with a white shirt, brown waistcoat and fishing net -you’ll be ready to catch dreams in no time.




If Matilda is your favourite of Roald Dahl’s characters, a plain blue dress, a headband and a comfy pair of shoes are all that is needed. Don’t forget to collect a pile of your favourite books, too!



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

For a more dapper look, why not try a Willy Wonka costume? You will need a purple jacket and a bow tie, a top hat and a cane. If you don’t have a bow tie, a ribbon will be an excellent substitution – he is known for his eccentricity after all.

If you are looking for a costume you can coordinate with your friends, the oompa-loompas are an excellent choice. A green wig, white trousers or dungarees and a brown top are essential. Don’t forget plenty of orange face paint and a pair of white gloves to top it off.

To find out more about the beloved author and his marvellous books, take a look at our Roald Dahl author page.

Top 5 books from school that we didn’t appreciate as children

Do you remember the books you read at school? At the time, some of them could not have been less appreciated, if we’re honest, but looking back now they provided us with our first exposure to some of the world’s finest, most celebrated fiction. And as the new school year is fast approaching for all of our children, we thought it would be fun to run through the books from our school days that we REALLY should have appreciated more at the time.

best books from school


Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men book

Written by the great John Steinbeck and published in 1937, Of Mice and Men tells the story of migrant ranch workers George and Lennie, who move from place to place through California in search of work during the United States’ Great Depression.

Way back when we were reading Of Mice and Men at school, we likely couldn’t see past the early 20th century setting, dead puppies and that strange glove that Curley wore, but the book is a compelling and captivating exploration of dreams, loneliness, companionship and oppression – themes you might not appreciate fully until you’re a little older, like we are.




Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies book

Written by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding in 1954, Lord of the Flies tells the tale of a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island during a nuclear war, who attempt to govern themselves with truly dire results.

When we were reading Lord of the Flies at school, most of us would have likely been distracted by passing notes (notes – those were the days!) and carving our names into the desk with a protractor, but Lord of the Flies is a fascinating parable about civilisation, innocence and the universality of human nature – if only we’d known at the time.





To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird book

Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most celebrated works of modern literature. The book, too, takes place during the Great Depression of the United States and tells the story of Atticus Finch, an attorney appointed to defend a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, narrated by his daughter, Scout.

While some of the racial epithets used were a bit distracting and shocking to us as younger readers, To Kill a Mockingbird remains a warm and humorous juxtaposing examination of very serious issues including rape and racial inequality.





Frankenstein book

Written by author Mary Shelley and published in 1818, Frankenstein tells the story of a young Genevan scientist who creates a creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment, told as a final correspondence between a ship’s captain and his sister.

As young whipper-snappers, we were likely preoccupied with whatever was going to go on at lunchtime rather than taking in the themes of the book. While Frankenstein’s language may have been a bit difficult to digest during our school years, too, looking back it’s a fine example of both gothic and romantic fiction, and is considered by many the catalyst for the creation of the science fiction genre.




The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby book

Penned by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, The Great Gatsby tells the story of the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, who has passionate obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan.

A bit of a depressing read for younger readers and, if we’re honest, a bit of a slow burner that lacks in the form of monstrous characters to keep our at-the-time short attention focussed on its pages, The Great Gatsby is a curious and glamorous tale that explores human aspiration and the depraved side of the American dream.





Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review

Harry Potter Cursed Child

The wait is over. The time is finally now upon us muggles to don our cloaks, ready our wands, hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and embark on the next magical adventure in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We love Harry Potter books here at Book People, and so we decided we should put together a review (a spoiler-free review!!!) of the exciting new chapter of the best-loved series.

The first Harry Potter story since 2007’s amazing, heart-breaking, thrilling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes readers by the hand and dives straight back into the Wizarding World we all know and love, 19 years later. While not a novel (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script for the West End stage play written by Jack Thorne), the book acts in a way like the eighth part of the Harry Potter series but with cross-medium appeal, enabling both fans of the films or books (or both!) to join in the magic and enjoy it with equal awe and wonder.


For the first few pages it really would have been useful to have had some kind of ‘get your head around anything’ potion from Professor Slughorn – if you’re a fan of the books (like we are), the script formatting really does take a few pages to get used to. That being said, once you’ve gone through a few pages and taken in some of Thorne’s hypnotically poetic stage directions, you really do feel like you’re zipping through pages of Rowling’s story-led prose.

While this review is spoiler-free, we will have to go over some of the plot points a little. If you don’t want to know anything regarding the plot to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, skip this section and scroll down to the ‘it’s safe, you can look now!’ section below…

The story begins right where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows epilogue left off – with Harry and Ginny saying goodbye to their son Albus at Platform 9 ¾. Albus soon meets the son of his father’s old school foe Draco Malfoy, Scorpius, and the pair strike up a friendship. This friendship, forged in part by the pair wanting to escape the shadow of their famous parents, is played out against the backdrop of magic and mystery we have all come to love – with a refreshing twist of time travel thrown in for good measure.

Harry Potter’s son, Albus, wants to right one of Harry’s failures by going back in time to save Cedric Diggory from being murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort, played out in the fourth Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But in doing so, Albus and Scorpius trigger a sequence of calamitous alternate realities which puts the lives of everyone they know and love in jeopardy.

hogwarts school

It’s safe, you can look now!

Right, back to reviewing the book – we won’t discuss the plot at all now, promise!!!

If you’re not familiar with the original books, or at least the characters from the Harry Potter films, you might struggle reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Though, if you haven’t read them, you can catch up by binge reading through the Complete Harry Potter Collection and save £30 off RRP. There are no recaps at all, so we definitely recommend you read all the stories before you embark on the Boy Who Lived’s next adventure.

If you are familiar with the Harry Potter stories already, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a delightful combination of witty dialogue and pacy storytelling which really feels as though it’s not only following on from but resurrecting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories.

If you haven’t seen the show, the first thing we’ll say is that you really, REALLY should. The most successful thing about it, apart from bringing the Harry Potter stories to the stage, is the spellbinding stage effects. And seeing these effects in the flesh will better prepare readers for envisioning how the spells looks and what transforming objects look like: stage directions do not a novel make. Though, like we said, Jack Thorne’s stage directions are no ordinary stage directions…

While it might not satisfy all fans (the time travel element in particular is a huge departure from the mythology of the original Harry Potter books), the climax of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is as touching, brutal and crushing, yet all the while thoroughly moving and ultimately tender as J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter novels. We definitely recommend reading it; there is no magic like the magic of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter review

The top 10 Roald Dahl quotes from The BFG

We love Roald Dahl books here at Book People, and with excitement high among Dahl fans due to the release of Steven Spielberg and Disney’s adaptation of The BFG, we thought we would run through our top ten Roald Dahl quotes from The BFG book.

Have we included your favourite quote, or perhaps we have these Roald Dahl quotes in the incorrect order? Join the conversation over on Facebook or tweet us @thebookpeople and let us know your thoughts.



















And number 1…


Do you know a young reader (or an older one for that matter!) who loves Roald Dahl? Our 15-book Roald Dahl Collection offers unbelievable savings of over £70 off RRP.

“If I were a giant…” children’s drawings


A family of giant friends? One giant eye? An infinite supply of cupcakes?

These are just some of the creative responses we received when asking a year two class to describe what they’d do if they were a giant.

To celebrate the release of Disney’s upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, we wanted to really get into the creative spirit. So we decided to ask a class of six- to seven-year-olds to tell us what they’d look like, and what they’d do if they suddenly found themselves to be of giant proportions. And from helping people celebrate their birthdays to creating some pretty wacky flavours of ice cream all the live long day, we were totally blown away with the imaginative responses!

The class gave their giant selves some pretty awesome features too. Some highlights include long rainbow hair, the ability to change colour when eating cherries, and huge fluffy wings! You can find a collage of the creative designs just below:


Inspired by the children’s creative minds, we’ve brought a couple of our favourite designs to life. Just below you’ll find Phoebe Finneran’s exceptionally huge giant, complete with horns, spots and the ability to lift houses; as well as James Hirst’s creative creature, with six arms, one enormous eye and unmistakably huge ears – brilliant!


Phoebe Finneran, 2016


James Hirst, 2016

Mrs Greenbank, a year two teacher at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Birstall tells us just how much the children loved this project: “The children really enjoyed designing their own giants and it was amazing to see the different traits of each one. 

We have always enjoyed reading Roald Dahl books here at school, especially The BFG as all the children love how creative the story is and how he plays around with language and makes up new words.

Roald Dahl’s The BFG tells the heart-warming story of young Sophie, and her adventures with the BFG (Big Friendly Giant, for those that are unfamiliar). Sophie soon learns that the BFG is a one-of-a-kind, and from snozzcumbers to whizzpoppers, the film follows the trials and tribulations they must face in order to avoid the not-so-friendly giants out there – all with the imaginative language and creative twists you can expect from Roald Dahl.

If your children would like to try their hand at drawing their own terrifying (or not-so-terrifying) giant, download our template below and get creative!


Would you like to introduce your child to the magic of Roald Dahl? If so, check out our full range HERE.

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