Little Billy doesn't really believe his mother's stories about all the monsters living in the wood, so he is easily tempted to disobey her and go and see for himself. He doesn't find any Whangdoodles, Hornswoggles or vermicious Knigs, but the Gruncher who does chase him, billowing orange-red smoke, is even more terrifying. Billy finds this horrible Gruncher has been terrorising the other inhabitants of the wood for years- the Minpins, a tiny tree-dwelling people whose children are the size of matchsticks. But Little Billy doesn't want to spend the rest of his life up a tree, so he bravely offers to lead the Gruncher away and to his death, thus freeing the grateful Min Pins from his tyranny.
The son of Norwegian parents, Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 and educated at Repton. He was a fighter pilot for the RAF during World War Two, and it was while writing about his experiences during this time that he started his career as an author.
His fabulously popular children's books are read by children all over the world. Some of his better-known works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG.
He died in November 1990.