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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2010
This is the best book ever because it is all about a little girl who goes on loads
of adventures with the B F G [the big friendly giant], and the adventures are really imaginative.

I am only nine and I read this book when I was about 7 , but even now I could
still read the book over and over again [ thats how good it is].

If I were you I would definitely buy this book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 4 October 2001
I bought this tape for my 5 year old son who is(or rather was) afraid of the dark.
He now rushes upstairs to his room, dives under the duvet all the while shouting "put the tape on, put the tape on Mummy" and so I do leaving him happily in the world of the dream blowing giant.
Who better to send you off to sleep than Sophie and the BFG having their bone crunching giant adventures! I admit that after bed-time I hear peals of laughter at the snozzcumbers and other such magical notions in this story, but I can't think of a lovelier way to enjoy it.
The BFG is written with such warmth and humour that listeners of all ages will just love to sit back, close their eyes and enter the realm of troggle humping giants who like to guzzle and swallomp human beans of the chiddler variety!
This is a wonderful gift for any child and quite a God-send for many parents too.
We now have James and the Giant Peach, the Magic Finger and Fantastic Mr Fox on tape too. Bed times will never be the same again.
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on 28 January 2010
This is the best book ever because it is all about a little girl who goes on loads
of adventures with the B F G [the big friendly giant], and the adventures are really imaginative.

I am only nine and I read this book when I was about 7 , but even now I could
still read the book over and over again [ thats how good it is].

If I were you I would definitely buy this book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 4 August 2016
I wasn't in to reading when I was a child, so I never really understood the mindset of 'you must read the book, it's far better than the film' when ever talking about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings Etc. It has meant that whilst I've heard of 'The BFG' I didn't know the story, as I'd not read the book before. However, on a recent 'staycation' to southern England, with little to no access to the Internet, a book was a must. I luckily chose this one (although the front cover was illustrative of the new film, as bought from a service station) the story is amazing even as an adult I can appreciate it, the beauty of the book is that the bulk of the story is what you interpret between the lines. Roald Dahl describes everything with a slight vagueness which enables you to imagine the world and characters your own way and get lost in your own imagination, with just guidance from the book and it's beautiful illustrations to keep you on track. I found myself completely lost in the book and it has inspired me to read more. The only downside to the book, is that because it's aimed at little kids, not big kids. So It was a quick read, however Amazon are selling his entire collection for around £23. So will be buying this later! I've also Started to Read David Walliams range of kids books as he's taken inspiration from Roald Dahl. So far I've found his books to be great as well, so if you like this, he's range of books is worth trying. Again, all the paper back editions are priced well on Amazon, the kindle versions are more expensive though.
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on 10 May 2011
I'll leave comments on Dahl's fantastic story to others, but I will comment on the Kindle edition.

The good: The pictures are well presented and clear.

The bad: There are quite a lot of errors in the text. Pretty much every chapter has a word or two that has been incorrectly entered. It's not enough to spoil one's enjoyment of the book but it is annoying that having paid at least much as a paper version would cost you end up with a sloppily prepared copy.

Also, the chapters are not marked ( there is no table of contents ), and there is no cover picture.
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My first re-read with my son. Via audiobook (David Walliams narrating), this captured me as much by Dahl's word-play as it ever did when I was a child.

My five-year-old loved it too and now keeps happily mentioned 'bellypoppers' at random times of the day.

This is arguably Dahl's best novel. Matilda is my favourite, but in no other book does he quite manage the amazing talent for language that he does with the Big Friendly Giant.

Sophie, the orphan girl, is snatched from her bed by a giant dream-blower, the BFG of the title, who lives in Giant Country as a runt among child-killing giants, alone with only repulsive snozcumbers for sustenance. And the dreams he collects to blow into children's windows at night.

The BFG is the father figure Sophie does not have, one with imperfect English (self-taught) who hates his fellow giants and their human-eating ways. It takes the little girl to conjure up the plan (involving dreams, a trip to London and the Queen of England) that will stop their evil ways for good.

What a lovely, lovely story to read together. With perfectly evil characters to despise, and a wonderfully heroic pair in little Sophie and her giant friend, you have the perfect set-up for a strong plot - where the story takes its time to get back to the killer giants. We have chapters meandering through the BFG's learning of English through books (always an important thing with Dahl), collecting dreams, looking at dream bottles, having giggles with whizzpops) until finally Sophie's plan must be acted on, and the Queen of England plays second fiddle to the twosome and helps them capture the child-killers for good.

My son didn't always understand the BFG's mistakes (in language), but I could see he was enjoying listening to the story, and was following the general plot. I'm sure as he grows older he will catch on and read this on another level. It was charming to listen to this as an adult and see the BFG as an overgrown child with no parental guidance, a good soul who tries to bring happiness to children but by himself is helpless to stop them.

Little Sophie is like Matilda in that she is the small person charged with defeating the mighty 'grown up' characters, calling in support, but providing the impetus needed to start events on their course.

Walliams voiced this very well, nothing overdone, appropriate and amusing voices for each character, the BFG given a quaint south-eastern farmer voice that doesn't become a stereotype, the Queen's closest to this but still amusing rather than annoying.

The Dahl everyone should read. And hopefully after this summer's (2016) film, it's the one everyone will be clamouring for copies of. Share it with them now.

One for all ages - if my 5-year-old can listen to 4 hours of the BFG, then anyone will love it.
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on 22 April 2016
The BFG, along with Roald Dahl's other books, is a fantastic book whose story and message remains as relevant today as ever.

The story of the BFG follows Sophie, an orphan girl living under the abusive regime of the owner. One night she sneaks out from her bed and sees a giant moving house to house. The giant also sees her and, in order to maintain the secret of his existence, whisks Sophie away to the Giant Country, where the adventure begins.

The BFG is an outcast, a runt. He is shunned by other giants because of this, but he also finds their way of life disgusting: You see, other giants eat children! The BFG, on the other hand, is sustained by a diet of snozzcumbers, a foul tasting and nasty vegetable. Despite its taste, the BFG needs this sustenance, because he has an important role...

And I'll not spoil the story for the last handful of people who are unaware of it.

The BFG has some important messages designed to instil morals and virtue in children, among which are:

- It's okay to be different, so long as you're a good person
- The most popular people are not always right, they're just surrounded by other people who do or like the same thing
- Sacrifice may be necessary, if the alternative is evil or immoral
- Don't judge a person by what you see on the outside

The book can be read to young children, or by those who are older. The made-up words will help build reading ability, as they can be challenging as well as rewardingly funny for kids. The unique pen-doodle style of Quentin Blake's illustrations are also perfect for the book.

This is a classic and, at the time of writing this review, is about to have a big, Hollywood release. It might be worth picking up the book to show kids that a story like this is best when read (or when it's read to them).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 February 2010
The Big Friendly Giant - or BFG - was written in 1982 when the author was 66 years old. It is of course a story for children and in my case their ages are ten and seven. I had been reading this out loud as a bedtime story so I know it as well as any!

A little girl is taken from her orphanage by a twenty-four foot giant in the middle of the night and taken to his cave a long, long way away, where several other giants live. Fortunately the girl was taken by the only friendly giant of the group, all of whom are much taller than the BFG and have a penchant for eating children. Sophie is most upset to hear all this, and after making friends with her own particular giant devises a plan on how to put a stop to the terrible cannibalism. That plan includes asking the Queen for help....

This is an amusing, mesmerising and above all entertaining story that kept my children rapt with attention at all times, although my younger daughter tended to fall asleep rather quickly - but then, that was the whole idea! The images portrayed are just ideal for children of primary school age, filling them with wonder and a little bit of fear, but not too much. I enjoyed doing all the different voices, to add a little something for their benefit, and although some of the concepts might sound a little too adult for younger ears - such as eating children - it was written with just the right amount of scariness to make them think but not give them nightmares - something the BFG, within the story itself, is more than adept at doing.

I'm not always an ardent fan of Roald Dahl, but after reading this and George's Marvellous Medicine recently, I feel that here are two colourful stories of his that might stay in the memory for all the right reasons. My children liked The BFG a lot and so did I.
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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2015
Of all of Dahl's books, I've thought that The BFG is the most encompassing of Dahl's different sides as a storyteller.

I love the way it distils all his different facets as a storyteller into one book. It has humour and heart in equal measure. I also love the craftsmanship and the structure that binds the whole story together.

The book is anchored by the friendship between Sophie and the eponymous giant. Although the friendship starts off shakily when the BFG snatches Sophie from her orphanage, the friendship literally hits the ground running the moment that the BFG hears that Sophie is an orphan. Sophie views the world around the BFG and the giants. Halfway through the book, she is roused to act to stop the giants from guzzling more humans, especially "chiddlers". All the experiences in the first half come together in the second half when the two friends mix the dream, meet Queen Elizabeth II and execute their plan to capture the cannibalistic giants.

I love the charm that exudes from this book. The BFG is a winsome character in every way. His jumbled-up language and made-up words endear him to the reader. The made-up words might be enough to make Dr Seuss blush. In addition, the Quentin Blake drawings make him look charming to the readers, including the large elephant ears. Dahl reveals him to be a kind character from the moment he becomes friends with Sophie. He wrote this paramount virtue into the book and his character and he embodies the Bertrand Russell quote about founding the good life on love and knowledge. The kindness extends to the way the two friends deal with the nine man-eating giants at the end after they capture them. Dahl makes the readers feel satisfied that the punishment fits the crime. The BFG and Sophie are not punitive like the Allied leaders who impose the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War. Rather, I like the way that they make us all believe that we can move mountains and overcome our insignificant stations in life to make a difference. There is something so endearing about the BFG that even when Dahl describes the (inherently naughty) act of whizzpopping, he does not descend into coarseness or vulgarity.

I know that Dahl's stories are a product of the psychedelic, swinging Sixties even though he his books appeared between 1961 and 1990, the year of his death. Yet I still spot a timeless quality in all of them, especially in this story. Dahl makes the story feel like a dream that wishes to linger in the air forever. Also, as in many Dahl stories, I spot allusions to the folklore and stories of the past. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reminds me of Cinderella, while Fantastic Mr Fox reminds me of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, with moral and ecological concerns deftly mixed in. In the case of The BFG, I am reminded of all slow-witted giants that have figured in fairy tales and myths, ranging from the Cyclops to the Norse giants and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk (which merits an allusion here). it's interesting that Dahl alludes to this fairytale when the BFG blows the nightmare into the Fleshlumpeater's face. I see The BFG as a kind of David and Goliath story, in which the BFG and Sophie are like David battling the Goliaths of the cannibalistic giants. Dahl returns to the David and Goliath theme in the story of Matilda, complete with its head-on confrontations with Miss Trunchbull. Also, in the meeting with Her Majesty, Dahl alludes to the nursery rhyme about the pussy-cat who went up to London to look at the Queen. As such, this combination of old and new traits allow the Dahl stories to feel timeless and not date.

I love the way that Dahl structures the story and the book. Despite the tension, I note that it is very well-structured and well-ordered. The motif of the cannibalistic giants threads its way through the book. Also, the two friends put together their plan of getting rid of the cannibalistic giants in the second half of the book after Sophie experiences everything about the BFG's existence. This is an apt demonstration of the problem solving process in real life. Solutions can't come fully-formed at one go, on the spur of the moment. The various elements of a solution float around before they can be discovered and put together. I see a parallel in The Witches when the boy-mouse absorbs all he observes around him to destroy the witches with the mouse-maker after they turn him into a mouse half way through the book.

Although nearly every Dahl book is an absolute winner, I think this will endear to more people than any of his other books. It is so charming and does not come across as shrill and strident like The Twits or George's Marvellous Medicine. The friendship between the two main protagonists makes readers wish that the BFG were real and could be their friend. In addition, the take-home points are an added bonus. As such, I like to think of this book as an excellent starting point for readers just coming into Roald Dahl.
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on 17 July 2015
The BFG is one of the best and funniest books I have ever read. It is a classic and a story i remember well from my own childhood. Every child should be read this story. In it, a girl named Sophie wakes up during "witching hour". In the distance, she sees a tall dark figure. As it comes closer, shes shocked what her eyes are showing her ,a GIANT! She thought that such things did not exist!! But Sophie not only sees him, HE sees HER. She hides under the covers in her bed, but still she is carried away with the giant to be sizzled like a rasher of bacon, or so she thought. But when she gets there, she discovers he is a Big Friendly Giant who blows dreams into sleeping children's rooms. There are also nine other giants who eat people. So begins a wild adventure to save the children around the world from them. Sophie, with the help of the BFG, "whiz poppers", "snoozecumbers", and the queen of England, she saves the world from devastation. The adventures is detailed so well that you feel like you are apart of it.
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