One of Roald Dahl’s most powerful characters turns 30 this week and she has never been more important. In fact Matilda is so significant, that a statue has been erected outside of Buckinghamshire in the UK of her standing down a bloated statue of Donald Trump, the most controversial figure on the planet at the moment. It is as good excuse as any to pull the book of the book shelves, or buy it if you don’t already have it and read it to our own little girls and boys.
Matilda has all the attributes and characteristics we really admire and aim to nurture in kids. She is incredibly bright, she has the most powerful brain that she used to fight all sorts of injustices and she really stands up for what she believes in. Many who are paying tribute to her online this week point to one of the most clear cut gifts Matilda gave to young girls, she taught us that it is OK to be angry and it is OK to stand up for ourselves. As a character she also gave confidence to young bookworms to be proud of being just that, a bookworm.
But back to Matilda at today. Did you know she has grown up to become a professor of Astrophysics and is also a Poet Laureate? This is all coming from a good source, Sir Quentin Blake, who was the illustrator of all of Roald Dahl’s novels over the years. And of course Matilda still loves to read!
Reading with our kids is not only a very special part of the day I spend with my own daughter but we also get to share these moments with hundreds and thousands of little listeners who tune into Weekend Breakfast each Saturday and Sunday on Today FM.
Our Little Reader slot has been running since July 2015 so that is…. a lot of Little Readers who have appeared on the show! (My reading is better than my math.) And across the years so many incredible books have featured on the show and Little Readers have inspired me to go and get the books that they have chosen to read from and I’ve gone on the share them with my own daughter.
But if there is one book I really strongly suggest all families pick up this month and read it is Matilda! As we need her, and her kind, now more than ever.