“The secret is to get children reading. As long as it’s not sex-laden or seditious or violent it doesn’t matter what they read. … I want them to be able to absorb books, not be frightened of them. If you can teach them that at ages eight, nine, ten or eleven, they have a great start. The contents of my books are not going to teach them anything at all, except to grip them by the throat and make them love to read. To me that’s very important. A non-book reader in this life is either going to finish up as a lavatory attendant, or a bricklayer, or worse.”
Additional Interview With Roald Dahl
Dahl recounted his life, explained what makes a short story, and described how he began writing children’s books in a 1974 interview with author Justin Wintle. “I said: Well, I must try and find some animals or creatures or something that are original,” Dahl detailed. “Everyone’s written about bunnies and ducks and bears and moles and rats and everything else, and Beatrix Potter’s done the lot. So I searched around, but there was precious little left. But I did try to pick something new—the earthworm, the centipede, the ladybug, the grasshopper and the spider. At first they didn’t look very attractive, but there was a chance I could make them amusing or interesting if one gave them character.”
To learn more about Roald Dahl, read his profile on findingDulcinea.