My Feline Intuition told me this was a good time to recommend a nice classic book for Operation Story Share, so I dug through Cindy’s box of old books and found her hardback copy of Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. The copyright is 1975, so if I’ve done my math correctly, that means Cindy was ten years old when she read this book. And in case you were wondering, the price was $5.95.
Like the price, the jacket copy is a little different from what we see today. Get a load of this:
The author has forbidden us to say anything at all here about the plot of this book. “Why tell about it before-hand,” he says. “It spoils it.”
All we can say, therefore, is that Danny is a terrific adventure story—about a boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. And, just as important, it’s the story of the relationship between a boy and his father who, in Danny’s own words, “without the slightest doubt, was the most marvelous and exciting father any boy ever had.”
In our opinion, as the publishers, this may be the best children’s book Roald Dahl has written so far. And when one considers what the other five books are, that is saying quite a lot. They are, of course: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Magic Finger.
If you don’t believe the publishers, maybe you’ll believe Cindy. Why would she have kept this book all those years if it wasn’t good? You’re right, it is one of Mr. Dahl’s lesser known stories, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a whisker-tingling, hackles-bristling one. I suggest you get your paws on a copy and find out for yourself.