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Roald Dahl 100

Throughout 2016, there will be celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, focusing on his stories and characters and delivering a year packed with squiffling surprises and treats for everyone! Emma Rowland rounds-up some of her favourites…

Visit Roald Dahl’s website for lesson plans, games to play and scrumptiously revolting recipes. There’s a story timeline, showing all of Roald Dahl’s books. The timeline is split into decades and allows you to expand on each book, giving you an insight into the author’s world. There’s also a wonderful countdown leading up to Roald’s birthday – this would get any child excited (especially me!). You can order your own tea party kit and host your own Roald Dahl day, and you can see which character you are out of all his famous novels on the online quiz. Just answer a few simple questions – it’s fun for all ages!

You can try one of the Roald Dahl inspired apps including Aardman‘s (who are behind films such as Shaun the Sheep and Flushed Away) ‘Twit or Miss’. In July last year, they released the first-ever app to feature some of legendary author Roald Dahl’s iconic and ever-popular characters. When playing you have to avoid food hitting Mrs Twit as Mr Twit eats, as gross as Roald wrote himself! Penguin Random House UK later released a second app based on Roald Dahl’s The Twits, giving the grimy couple their first appearance in 3D. “Roald Dahl’s House of Twits” is set within the Twits filthy abode and allows the players to explore and play pranks on the Twit couple. You can tug the grimy beard of Mr Twit and feed the pair. Both are available on the App Store and through Google Play.

Fans can also listen to Roald Dahl Audiobooks in one phizz-whizzing App! Listen to free sample chapters from 19 of his best-loved stories then download the complete audiobook. And with celebrity readers like Kate Winslet, Stephen Fry and Chris O’Dowd plus sound effects from Pinewood Studios, there’s never been a better reason to swivel your ears. Definitely a fab way to get kids into the month of Dahl!

Download the Reading Agency’s The Big Friendly Read App for your mobile or tablet to unlock exclusive games and special audio surprises! Using your device, visit to download the App and experience the Big Friendly Read digital magic. The App is available for Apple and Android devices. There you can also find other online games, including Title Dash!, Mythical Maze Race, Bat Catcher, Creepy House Hunt and Aesop!

And, in case you missed it, The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl is still available on BBC iplayer (UK only). Watch it here.

Around the country, there is much much more to look forward to over the year. Wales especially, as the  birthplace of Dahl, have much in store. The Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales have planned the “City of the Unexpected”, directed by Nigel Jamieson. Visit Cardiff over the weekend of 17-18 September 2016 and you might find things aren’t quite as you expected. The whole city will be humming with whispers of Roald Dahl; on street corners and from rooftops, in markets and cafés, on lamp posts and even on your mobile phone.

If you get a chance to visit London this month, look out for some of the BFG’s 50 six-foot tall Dream Jars on the Dream Jar Trail, which incorporates the use of Google’s Nearby Notifications technology. With famous celebrities including illustrator and Roald Dahl collaborator Sir Quentin Blake, The BFG director Steven Spielberg, Professor Stephen Hawking, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin having their dream jars set out around London, it is sure to be a big hit! Each jar has an intricately made scene scape and you can discover where they all are with The BFG Dream Jar Trail maps and mini trails. Most are in London but you’ll also discover some in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Cheshire too. You can find out more on the website here.

Later on this month, we’ll be going on a hunt for the Dream Jars using the Google beacon technology. Watch this space for more on the trail..!

Emma Rowland is currently studying for a BA (Hons) English degree at Bournemouth University and loves creative writing, children’s books and the power of storytelling. She is looking to go into the publishing industry.

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