Rosen tells the truth about Roald Dahl
The lively Michael Rosen uncovered some truths about kids' author Roald Dahl at the Bath Festival of Children's Literature this weekend
Who wore size 15 Norweigan sandals and had a dog called Chopper?
According to Michael Rosen, and an audience of very knowledgeable readers, the answer is children’s writer Roald Dahl.
Such is the author of The Witches’ popularity, some 22 years after his death, that the room at the Telegraph Bath Festival of Children's Literature was jam-packed – but kudos must also be given to former children’s laureate Rosen, who was a warm, lively and humorous host, who had the kids (and adults) in stitches.
Rosen, who was promoting his book about Dahl The Fantastic Mr Dahl, held a quiz on the author, qualifying: “You can’t be wrong but you can be a different kind of right”. Nuggets of information uncovered include Dahl’s height (6,5.5in tall), his favourite of his own books (The BFG), what he wrote with (a pencil, from New York), and what he “really, really, really hated” (answer? Beards).
Rosen read from his own book and excerpts from The BFG and other works by Dahl, and told a story about how Dahl and his friends as schoolboys had apparently tormented the hateful local sweet-shop owner by leaving a dead mouse in one of her sweet jars.
“That’s the thing about us storytellers,” Rosen admitted; “Sometimes we tell things that we say are true that might possibly not be true. Roald Dahl was very cunning at hiding what was true.”
The Fantastic Mr Dahl by Michael Rosen is published by Puffin. Read an extract here.