Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Matilda. James and the Giant Peach. The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
No, I'm not talking about a collection of particularly touching movies, although I could be; I'm talking about the books that inspired them, the classic works by deceased author Roald Dahl.
I love Dahl's works, although I admit to viewing them through rosy nostalgia glasses. (I recently re-read "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" and was pretty shocked at a lot of problematic racial dialogue that I had completely forgotten in the years between childhood and adulthood.) I love the innocence of the children protagonists, and how they seem to view the world with wide eyes, shocked into silence and yet somehow deeply appreciative of the beauty they perceive around them. Dahl had a knack for vulnerable and hurting young girls and boys -- children who had been utterly damaged by the world around them, and even by their own trusted guardians -- and for using warm, inviting magic to lift them up out of those circumstances into infinitely better ones.
Dahl's books, for all their flaws, are still classics to me, and I'm sad and surprised to note that you can only order them as eBooks if you live in the UK or Canada -- us American readers are currently out of luck. So it's poking time!
Omnibus link here.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory link here.
James and the Giant Peach link here.
Matilda link here.
...and so on.
Remember: Readers who post in the comments that they've poked the publisher via any or all of these links will be mentioned in a subsequent "Poke the Publisher" entry, which is a level of fame that will open doors at least as easily as infinite wealth, extravagant beauty, and perpetual immortality.
Also remember: By poking the publisher, you are not indicating that YOU are waiting to buy this book in e-Book format, but rather that your dear friend Ana is waiting to buy this book in e-Book format to review, dissect, deconstruct, and otherwise desecrate for your reading pleasure. And buy it I shall, just as soon as it comes available in the U.S. of A.
Credit for last week's Poke the Publisher feature must go to Gelliebean, Loquat, Redwood Rhiadra, Amaryllis, and Brin Bellway. Each one of these delightful people had truly wretched childhoods but overcame them through a combination of hope, innocence, and magical realism. Some of them can also move things with the power of their minds... but only if they haven't read much recently.