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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming book written by one genius about another!
A lovely book that gives an insight into Roald's life and why/how he became to be such a fantastic storyteller. Michael Rosen is the perfect author for this, and his admiration is clear. My only reason not to give it 5 stars is because I would like the book to have had more pages!
Published 22 months ago by Miss Missy

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1.0 out of 5 stars Childs Book
Had Amazon stated this was a child's book, I wouldn't have wasted my time and money buying it. Like Dahl, don't like the book.
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. B. Cheshire


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming book written by one genius about another!, 29 Oct 2012
This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Kindle Edition)
A lovely book that gives an insight into Roald's life and why/how he became to be such a fantastic storyteller. Michael Rosen is the perfect author for this, and his admiration is clear. My only reason not to give it 5 stars is because I would like the book to have had more pages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant biography for readers of all ages, 4 Jan 2013
This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
I have discovered over the past year or so that biographies are rather popular reads for a number of our teens at school. Sportsmen and sports women, comedians, TV presenters - I have seen all of these in the hands of student or another. Personally I'm not a big reader of biographies as they hold little interest for me, but one of my closest friends loves them as, by his own admission, he is nosey. The students who I have seen reading these books have told me that they love finding out about the lives of celebrities. However, apart from a handful of fab totals from the wonderful Barrington Stoke, biographies are in very short supply for younger readers.

Fantastic Mr Dahl is a relatively short book about one of this country's most beloved authors (Roald Dahl) written by another one of our most beloved authors (Michael Rosen). Rosen states proudly that he is Roald Dahl's biggest fan, and he opens this book with a short anecdote about how he first met the great man. What follows is a delightful peek at the life of arguably one of this country's most famous and most loved writers, starting with his life as a boy, and continuing through his work during the war and then on to his work as a writer.

This is only a brief introduction to the life of Roald Dahl, but Rosen does not waste a single word. He has very cleverly dissected the work of Dahl and focused on key moments or aspects of his life that hint at how he came to be the writer whose work we know so well: Dahl's love of word play and making up new words; his Norwegian background; his love of chocolate. Can you spot where he may have used these in his stories? Michael Rosen also gives young readers a glimpse into how Roald Dahl came up with his ideas, and the ensuing writing process, and in doing so he points out some of the elements that made Dahl's stories so appealing and so timeless.

This is a great book to be read to/by any fan of Dahl's work, and especially to any child who shows even the slightest interest in writing their own stories. Reprints of some of the letters, complete with spelling and grammatical errors, that Dahl wrote as a boy and young man will show children that the man was far from a master of the English language, and could give them confidence to further explore their own ideas in writing.

My only criticism of this book? It finished too soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fantastic Mr Dahl, 9 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
My daughter is currently reading this book. She has already told me that she is enjoying it. She reads some of it every night before she goes to sleep. So, so far she recommends it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great little book., 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
A little repetitive for those who know the story's Boy and Going Solo well, but brilliant for kids.

Readily available and accessible information on one of the greatest children's writers of all time written for children by another great children's author. A brilliant way to introduce the theme of biography to a junior school aged child (7-11) or a child who wants to grow up to be a writer.

Defiantly a book I will encourage my own boys to read. And a reminder that I haven't yet read Danny the cham...more
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5.0 out of 5 stars LAB (like a boss), 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Kindle Edition)
This book is amazing. I had to read this for homework and this actually made homework fun! Really good book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A perspective from an "adult kid" fan of Dahl, 20 Sep 2013
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Yi-Peng (Singapore) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
The children's books of Roald Dahl mean a whole lot to me even as an adult. So I keenly read and peruse any new Dahl-related book or publication. In this review I am imagining myself as a child who is reading this for the first time. I know I may have caveats but I'm not faulting the writer or his writing style.

This Michael Rosen biography is different from previous biographies of Dahl, for adults and for children. It does not focus on a straightforward cradle to grave narrative of his life, although there is a clear cradle-to-grave thread. Instead it arranges itself according to themes: Dahl as a boy, Dahl as a man and finally Dahl as a writer. The section on Dahl as a boy takes up half of the entire book, but at least Rosen uses it to show us how his writing style for children evolved through his letters. Rosen writes very well and engages the reader. He paints a convincing portrait of Dahl by analysing his writings, and shows us how he became a children's author in his later years. Admittedly this biography overlooks the other facets of Dahl when it focuses on his children's writing. In a way this is good because it offers a succinct account of what influenced his children's writing.

However, I notice some weaknesses in the presentation, and I don't blame Rosen at all. I wish that he had been parsimonious and more matter-of-fact in presenting some of his points. For instance, it would have been good if he had used less words when talking about the headmaster who caned Dahl and his friends for the Great Mouse Plot. It would have been good if he had just said that in those days it was the norm for teachers and headmasters to cane their naughty pupils and that Dahl in his writings made these beatings appear funny while telling his readers it was wrong. Also, I notice that he occasionally breaks through the "fourth wall" with anecdotes and asides to the reader. This can be helpful in explaining what life was like in those days and even explaining and describing sensations that would have been felt back then. I admit that these asides may be a bit disruptive and hold up the flow and pace of this book.

This is a pretty good portrait of Dahl for a junior biography. Though this may not be an ideal read, at least Rosen writes in a sparky, engaging way that Dahl would have approved of. There are some other junior biographies of Dahl that might suit youths between the ages of 10 and 12. For instance, the Horribly Famous book, Roald Dahl and his Chocolate Factory, presents an engaging and equally sparky cradle to grave narrative of Dahl, telling us what he was like as a person and as a family man. It also paces itself better by not dwelling for too long on points.

However, despite my caveats, this Rosen portrait of Dahl as a children's author is pretty good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging for children - or adults!, 15 Sep 2013
This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Roald Dahl AND Michael Rosen so I couldn't resist buying this book for myself as well as my son! It is written in such a simple, engaging and lively way - both about Roald Dahl, the man, and the writing process. Michael Rosen really "speaks" to the reader and draws you in. It contains all sorts of delightful snippets and stories of mischief from Dahl's childhood, including actual letters he wrote to his mother when he was at boarding school. The only reason I've given it four stars and not five is that it "runs out of steam" and loses its liveliness a little towards the end of the book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Childs Book, 23 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
Had Amazon stated this was a child's book, I wouldn't have wasted my time and money buying it. Like Dahl, don't like the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful book, 15 Mar 2013
By 
Mrs. Nj Uijen - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
I bought this for my eight year old daughter who is learning about Roald Dahl at school. It put the information accross in an animated fashion and was therefore helpful. However it was a bit long and became a chore reading it for my daughter with some sections where she completely lost interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 13 Mar 2013
By 
F. James "Fiona" (Murcia Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fantastic Mr Dahl (Paperback)
I bought this book to encourage my daughter with her story writing. We have both really enjoyed it. It is well written and explains carefully but not in a condescending manner the way in which Roald Dahl captures the imagination of his audience by his choice of language and characters.
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