The BFG

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The BFG
The BFG (Dahl novel - cover art).jpg
First edition cover
Author Roald Dahl
Original titleTHE BFG
Illustrator Quentin Blake
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SubjectFiction
Genre Children's, Fantasy
Published1982 Jonathan Cape (original)
Penguin Books (current)
Media type Paperback
Pages208
ISBN 0-224-02040-4

The BFG (short for The Big Friendly Giant) is a 1982 children's book written by British novelist Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It is an expansion of a short story from Dahl's 1975 book Danny, the Champion of the World . The book is dedicated to Dahl's late daughter, Olivia, who died of measles encephalitis at the age of seven in 1962. [1] As of 2009, the novel has sold 37 million copies in UK editions alone, with more than 1 million copies sold around the world every year. [2]

Roald Dahl British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

Quentin Blake English cartoonist, illustrator and childrens writer

Sir Quentin Saxby Blake, CBE, FCSD, FRSL, RDI is an English cartoonist, illustrator and children's writer. He is known best for illustrating books written by Roald Dahl. For his lasting contribution as a children's illustrator he won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002, the highest recognition available to creators of children's books. From 1999 to 2001 he was the inaugural British Children's Laureate. He is a patron of the Association of Illustrators.

Short story work of literature, usually written in narrative prose

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

Contents

An animated adaptation was shown on television in 1989 with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie. It has also been adapted as a theatre performance. [3] A theatrical Disney live-action adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg was released in 2016.

<i>The BFG</i> (1989 film) 1989 film by Brian Cosgrove

The BFG is a 1989 British animated film produced by Cosgrove Hall Films and based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was directed by Brian Cosgrove and written by John Hambley. The film was first shown on 25 December 1989 on ITV in the UK.

Sir David John White,, known professionally by his stage name David Jason, is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter and television producer. He is best known for his roles as Derek "Del Boy" Trotter in the BBC comedy series sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Detective Inspector Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost, Granville in Open All Hours and Still Open All Hours, and Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May, as well as voicing Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows and the title characters of Danger Mouse and Count Duckula. His last original appearance as Del Boy was in 2014, while Jason retired his role as Frost in 2010.

Amanda Root is an English stage and screen actress and a former voice actress for children's programmes.

Plot

The book starts with a young girl named Sophie lying in bed in an orphanage after her parents died in a car accident. She can't sleep, and sees a strange sight in the street; a giant man, carrying a bag and an odd trumpet. He sees Sophie, who tries to hide in bed, but the giant picks her up through the window. Then he runs incredibly fast to a large cave, which he enters.

Orphanage residential institution devoted to the care of orphans

Historically, an orphanage is a residential institution, or group home, devoted to the care of orphans and other children who were separated from their biological families. Examples of what would cause a child to be placed in orphanages are when the parents were deceased, the biological family was abusive to the child, there was substance abuse or mental illness in the biological home that was detrimental to the child, or the parents had to leave to work elsewhere and were unable or unwilling to take the child. The role of legal responsibility for the support of children whose parent(s) have died or are otherwise unable to provide care differs internationally.

Cave Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter

A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos, though strictly speaking a cave is exogene, meaning it is deeper than its opening is wide, and a rock shelter is endogene.

When he sets Sophie down, she begins to plead for her life, believing that the giant will eat her. The giant laughs, and explains that most giants do eat human beings, and that the people's origins affect their taste. For example, people from Greece taste greasy, while people from Panama taste of hats. The giant then says that he will not eat her, as he is the BFG, or the Big Friendly Giant.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Panama Republic in Central America

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Panama hat Panamá hat

A Panama hat, also known as an Ecuadorian hat or a toquilla straw hat, is a traditional brimmed straw hat of Ecuadorian origin. Traditionally, hats were made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, known locally as the toquilla palm or jipijapa palm, although it is a palm-like plant rather than a true palm.

The BFG explains that she must stay with him forever, as no one can know of his existence. He warns her of the dangers of leaving his cave, as his nine neighbours are sure to eat her if they catch her. He explains what he was doing with the trumpet and suitcase. He catches dreams, stores them in the cave, and then gives the good ones to children all around the world. He destroys the bad ones. The BFG then explains that he eats the only edible plant that will grow in the giants' homeland: snozzcumbers, which are disgusting striped warty cucumber-like vegetables with wart-like growths that taste like frog skins and rotten fish to Sophie and cockroaches and slime wanglers to the BFG. Another giant, the Bloodbottler, then storms in. Sophie hides in a snozzcumber and is nearly accidentally eaten by the Bloodbottler. Bloodbottler luckily spits her out and then leaves in disgust. When Sophie announces she is thirsty, the BFG treats her to a fizzy soda pop drink called "frobscottle" which causes noisy flatulence because of the bubbles sinking downwards. The BFG calls this "Whizzpopping". The next morning, the BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country to catch more dreams, but is tormented by the man-eating giants along the way, notably by their leader the Fleshlumpeater, the largest and most fearsome of the giants.

Cucumber Species of plant

Cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Within these varieties, several cultivars have been created. In North America, the term "wild cucumber" refers to plants in the genera Echinocystis and Marah, but these are not closely related. The cucumber is originally from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. Many different types of cucumber are traded on the global market.

Frog Order of amphibians

A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura. The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests. There are over 6,300 recorded species, accounting for around 88% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. Warty frog species tend to be called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not from taxonomy or evolutionary history.

Fish vertebrate animal that lives in water and (typically) has gills

Fish are gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming the olfactores. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish as well as various extinct related groups. Tetrapods emerged within lobe-finned fishes, so cladistically they are fish as well. However, traditionally fish are rendered paraphyletic by excluding the tetrapods. Because in this manner the term "fish" is defined negatively as a paraphyletic group, it is not considered a formal taxonomic grouping in systematic biology, unless it is used in the cladistic sense, including tetrapods. The traditional term pisces is considered a typological, but not a phylogenetic classification.

In Dream Country, the BFG demonstrates his dream-catching skills to Sophie; but the BFG mistakenly captures a nightmare and uses it to start a fight among the other giants when Fleshlumpeater has a nightmare about Jack. Sophie later persuades him to approach the Queen of England about imprisoning the other giants. To this end, she uses her knowledge of London to navigate the BFG to Buckingham Palace, and the BFG creates a nightmare for the Queen, which describes the man-eating giants, and leaves Sophie in the Queen's bedroom to confirm it. Because the dream included the knowledge of Sophie's presence, the Queen believes her and speaks with the BFG.

Jack and the Beanstalk English folktale closely associated with the tale of "Jack the Giant-killer"

"Jack and the Beanstalk" is an English fairy tale. It appeared as "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean" in 1734 and as Benjamin Tabart's moralised "The History of Jack and the Bean-Stalk" in 1807. Henry Cole, publishing under pen name Felix Summerly, popularised the tale in The Home Treasury (1845), and Joseph Jacobs rewrote it in English Fairy Tales (1890). Jacobs' version is most commonly reprinted today, and is believed to be closer to the oral versions than Tabart's because it lacks the moralising.

Buckingham Palace Official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

A fleet of helicopters then follows Sophie and the BFG to the giants' homeland, where the giants are tied up as they sleep, and the helicopters carry them back to London where they are imprisoned in a 500 ft deep pit with sheer walls and a high safety fence. The BFG is lowered in to untie them; untying Fleshlumpeater last, he explains why they are being imprisoned. Outraged, Fleshlumpeater roars that they'll devour the BFG instead, but he is hoisted out to safety. The man-eating giants find themselves being only fed snozzcumbers.

Afterwards, a huge castle is built as the BFG's new house, with a little cottage next door for Sophie. While they are living happily in England, gifts come from the governments of every country ever targeted by the giants (notably England, Sweden, Arabia, India, Panama, Tibet, Jersey, Chile, and New Zealand). After Sophie teaches the BFG how to read and proper English, he writes a book of their adventures identified as the novel itself—under the name "Roald Dahl".

Characters

References in other Roald Dahl books

The BFG first appears as a story told to Danny by his father in Danny, the Champion of the World . The ending is almost the same as James and the Giant Peach , when he writes a story about himself, by himself. Also, Mr. Tibbs relates to Mrs. Tibbs, the friend of Mr. Gilligrass, the U.S. president in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator .

Awards and recognition

The BFG has won numerous awards including the 1985 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis as the year's best children's book, in its German translation Sophiechen und der Riese [4] and the 1991 Read Alone and Read Aloud BILBY Awards. [5]

In 2003 it was ranked number 56 in The Big Read, a two-stage survey of the British public by the BBC to determine the "Nation's Best-loved Novel". [6]

The U.S. National Education Association listed The BFG among the "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" based on a 2007 online poll. [7]

In 2012, it was ranked number 88 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal , a monthly with primarily U.S. audience. It was the fourth of four books by Dahl among the Top 100, more than any other writer. [8]

Editions

English

Selected translations

Adaptations

Comic strip

Between 1986, and 1998, the novel was adapted into a newspaper comic by journalist Brian Lee and artist Bill Asprey. It was published in the Mail on Sunday and originally a straight adaptation, with scripts accepted by Roald Dahl himself. After a while the comic started following its own storylines and continued long after Dahl's death in 1990. [23]

Stage play

The play was adapted for the stage by David Wood and premiered at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1991. [24]

Films

1989 film

On 25 December 1989, ITV broadcast an animated film based on the book and produced by Cosgrove Hall Films on television, with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie. The film was dedicated to animator George Jackson who worked on numerous Cosgrove Hall productions.

2016 film

A theatrical film adaptation was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Mark Rylance as the BFG, as well as, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, and Bill Hader. The film was released on 1 July 2016, to positive critical reception.

TV series

A TV series based on The BFG is being developed as part of Netflix's "animated series event", based on Roald Dahl's books. [25]

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Roald Dahl bibliography

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was a British author and scriptwriter, and "the most popular writer of children's books since Enid Blyton", according to Philip Howard, the literary editor of The Times. He was raised by his Norwegian mother, who took him on annual trips to Norway, where she told him the stories of trolls and witches present in the dark Scandinavian fables. Dahl was influenced by the stories, and returned to many of the themes in his children's books. His mother also nurtured a passion in the young Dahl for reading and literature.

References

  1. Singh, Anita (7 August 2010) "Roald Dahl's secret notebook reveals heartbreak over daughter's death". The Telegraph . Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  2. "Whizzpoppingly wonderful fun in Watford!". BBC. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. "Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company presents The BFG". birmingham-rep.co.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  4. "Sophiechen und der Riese" (in German). Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. 1985. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  5. "Previous Winners of the BILBY Awards: 1990 – 96" (PDF). The Children's Book Council of Australia Queensland Branch. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. "BBC – The Big Read". BBC. April 2003. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  7. National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" . Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  8. Bird, Elizabeth (7 July 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  9. Dahl, Roald (1983). De GVR (in Dutch). Translated by Huberte Vriesendorp. Utrecht: De Fontein. OCLC   276717619.
  10. Dahl, Roald (1984). The BFG. Barcelona: Planeta. OCLC   23998903.
  11. Dahl, Roald (1984). Sophiechen und der Riese (in German). Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt. OCLC   12736090.
  12. Dahl, Roald (1984). Le bon gros géant: le BGG (in French). Paris: Gallimard. OCLC   462016766.
  13. Dahl, Roald (1985). オ・ヤサシ巨人BFG (in Japanese). Translated by Taeko Nakamura. Tokyo: Hyoronsha. OCLC   674384354.
  14. Dahl, Roald (1987). Il GGG (in Italian). Firenze: Salani. OCLC   797126304.
  15. Dahl, Roald (1993). Die GSR: die groot sagmoedige reus (in Afrikaans). Translated by Mavis De Villiers. [Kaapstad]: Tafelberg. OCLC   85935030. Originally published by Jonathan Cape Ltd. as: The BFG
  16. Dahl, Roald (1997). 내 친구 꼬마 거인 (in Korean). Translated by Hye-yŏn Chi. Ch'op'an. OCLC   936576155.
  17. Dahl, Roald. Gjiganti i madh i mirë (in Albanian). Translated by Naum Prifti. Çabej: Tiranë. OCLC   472785476.
  18. Dahl, Roald (2000). 好心眼儿巨人 (in Chinese). Translated by Rong Rong Ren. Jinan: Ming tian Chu ban she.
  19. Dahl, Roald (2003). Yr CMM: yr èc èm èm (in Welsh). Hengoed: Rily. OCLC   55150213.
  20. Dahl, Roald (2005). Uriașul cel príetenos (in Romanian). Translated by Mădălina Monica Badea. Bucharest: RAO International. OCLC   63542578.
  21. Dahl, Roald (2016). BFG (in Polish). Translated by Katarzyna Szczepańska-Kowalczuk. Kraków: Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. OCLC   956576565.
  22. Dahl, Roald (2016). De GFR (in West Frisian). Translated by Martsje de Jong. Groningen: Utjouwerij Regaad. OCLC   1020314790.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  23. "Bill Asprey".
  24. "The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)". Samuel French. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  25. Jo-Anne Rowney. "Netflix's new Roald Dahl animated series 'reimagines' Matilda and Willy Wonka". Mirror UK.