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Roald Dahl Quotes

71 of the best book quotes from Roald Dahl
  1. #1
    “If you are good, life is good.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    concept
    Goodness
  2. #2
    “A little magic can take you a long way.”
  3. #3
    “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
    Go throw your TV set away,
    And in its place you can install
    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
    Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
  4. #4
    “Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.”
  5. #5
    “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    The BFG
    concept
    Words
  6. #6
    “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    The Witches
    concept
    Love
  7. #7
    “I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
  8. #8
    “There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.”
  9. #9
    “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
  10. #10
    “Two rights don’t equal a left.”
Books by Roald DahlView All ››
adventure
The Minpins
alligators and crocodiles
The Enormous Crocodile
World War 2 · airplanes
The Gremlins
silly · alligators and crocodiles · mischief
Dream Big and Other Life Lessons from the Enormous Crocodile
friendship · imagination · inspired by classic literature
Wonderful, Wicked, and Whizzpopping
inspired by classic literature · imagination · magic
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Six More
magic · Halloween · witches
The Witches
  1. #11
    “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”
  2. #12
    “However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”
  3. #13
    “We are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want - or near enough.”
  4. #14
    “I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children – just five, mind you, and no more – to visit my factory this year.”
  5. #15
    “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
  6. #16
    “Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” And at the same time, his long bony body rose up out of the bed and his bowl of soup went flying into the face of Grandma Josephine, and in one fantastic leap, this old fellow of ninety-six and a half, who hadn’t been out of bed these last twenty years, jumped on to the floor and started doing a dance of victory in his pajamas.”
  7. #17
    “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    concept
    Magic
  8. #18
    “Because we are playing with mysterious forces, my child, that we know nothing about. I do not think they are evil. They may be good. They may even be divine. But whether they are or not, let us handle them carefully.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    characters
    MatildaMiss Honey
    concept
    Magic
  9. #19
    “She was feeling curiously elated. She felt as though she had touched something that was not quite of this world, the highest point of the heavens, the farthest star. She had felt most wonderfully the power surging up behind her eyes, gushing like a warm fluid inside her skull, and her eyes had become scorching hot, hotter than ever before, and things had come bursting out of her eye-sockets and then the piece of chalk had lifted itself up and had begun to write. It seemed as though she had hardly done anything, it had all been so simple.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concept
    Magic
  10. #20
    ″‘A precocious child,’ Miss Honey said, ‘is one that shows amazing intelligence early on. You are an unbelievably precocious child.‘”
  1. #21
    “By the time she was three, Matilda had taught herself to read by studying newspapers and magazines that lay around the house. At the age of four, she could read fast and well, and she naturally began hankering after books.”
  2. #22
    “There was a moment of silence, and Matilda, who had never before heard great romantic poetry spoken aloud, was profoundly moved. ‘It’s like music,’ she whispered.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concepts
    ReadingPoetry
  3. #23
    “She felt wildly excited. She had just met a small girl who possessed, or so it seemed to her, quite extraordinary qualities of brilliance. There had not been time yet to find out exactly how brilliant the child was, but Miss Honey had learnt enough to realize that something had to be done about it as soon as possible. It would be ridiculous to leave a child like that stuck in the bottom form.”
  4. #24
    “All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen. If only they would read a little Dickens or Kipling they would soon discover there was more to life than cheating people and watching television.”
  5. #25
    “Parents never underestimated the abilities of their own children. Quite the reverse. Sometimes it was well nigh impossible for a teacher to convince the proud father or mother that their beloved offspring was a complete nitwit.”
  6. #26
    “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
  7. #27
    “The human brain is an amazing thing.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Miss Honey
    concept
    Brain
  8. #28
    “I’ve always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn’t I?”
  9. #29
    “Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
  10. #30
    “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concepts
    FunCommitment
Books about musicView All ››
Trombone Shorty book
6.5
picture book
Trombone Shorty
The Trumpet of the Swan book
6.0
chapter book
The Trumpet of the Swan
Ada's Violin book
5.7
picture book
Ada's Violin
Because book
5.6
picture book
Because
Ella Fitzgerald book
5.5
picture book
Ella Fitzgerald
We Are Music book
5.5
board book
We Are Music
Les & Ronnie Step Out book
5.5
picture book
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Hosea Plays On book
5.4
picture book
Hosea Plays On
  1. #31
    “Every one of these old people was over ninety. They were as shrivelled as prunes, and as bony as skeletons, and throughout the day, until Charlie made his appearance, they lay huddled in their one bed, two at either end, with nightcaps on to keep their heads warm, dozing the time away with nothing to do. But as soon as they heard the door opening, and heard Charlie’s voice saying, ‘Good evening, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine, and Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina,’ then all four of them would suddenly sit up, and their old wrinkled faces would light up with smiles of pleasure – and the talking would begin. For they loved this little boy. He was the only bright thing in their lives, and his evening visits were something that they looked forward to all day long.”
  2. #32
    “Don’t argue, my dear child, please don’t argue!” cried Mr. Wonka. “It’s such a waste of precious time!”
  3. #33
    “Rainbow drops - suck them and you can spit in six different colours.”
  4. #34
    “Of course they’re real people. They’re Oompa-Loompas...Imported direct from Loompaland...And oh what a terrible country it is! Nothing but thick jungles infested by the most dangerous beasts in the world - hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles. A whangdoodle would eat ten Oompa-Loompas for breakfast and come galloping back for a second helping.”
  5. #35
    “I was glad my father was an eye-smiler. It meant he never gave me a fake smile because it’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself. A mouth-smile is different. You can fake a mouth-smile any time you want, simply by moving your lips. I’ve also learned that a real mouth-smile always has an eye-smile to go with it. So watch out, I say, when someone smiles at you but his eyes stay the same. It’s sure to be a phony.”
  6. #36
    “Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world”
  7. #37
    “Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.”
  8. #38
    “Nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money.”
  9. #39
    “You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”
  10. #40
    “I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Miss Trunchbull
    concept
    Power
Books about readingView All ››
The Snatchabook book
6.3
picture book
The Snatchabook
Just Read! book
6.0
picture book
Just Read!
An Inconvenient Alphabet book
6.0
picture book
An Inconvenient Alphabet
Library Mouse #1 book
6.0
picture book
Library Mouse #1
The Storybook Knight book
5.8
picture book
The Storybook Knight
  1. #41
    “‘The matter with human beans,’ the BFG went on, ‘is that they is absolutely refusing to believe anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.‘”
  2. #42
    “‘We must hurry!’ said Mr. Wonka. ‘We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!‘”
  3. #43
    “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
  4. #44
    ″‘Up to now,’ Miss Honey went on, ‘I have found it impossible to talk to anyone about my problems. I couldn’t face the embarrassment, and anyway I lack the courage. Any courage I had was knocked out of me when I was young. But now, all of a sudden I have a sort of desperate wish to tell everything to somebody. I know you are only a tiny little girl, but there is some kind of magic in you somewhere. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.‘”
  5. #45
    “If you had a heart attack this minute and had to call a doctor, that doctor would be a university graduate. If you got sued for selling someone a rotten second-hand car, you’d have to get a lawyer and he’d be a university graduate, too. Do not despise clever people, Mr. Wormwood.”
  6. #46
    “So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concepts
    ReadingBooks
  7. #47
    “With frightening suddenness he now began ripping the pages out of the book in handfuls and throwing them in the waste-paper basket.
    Matilda froze in horror. The father kept going. There seemed little doubt that the man felt some kind of jealousy. How dare she, he seemed to be saying with each rip of a page, how dare she enjoy reading books when he couldn’t? How dare she?”
  8. #48
    “Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend, someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concept
    Friendship
  9. #49
    “Do any of us children, she wondered, ever stop to ask ourselves where our teachers go when school is over for the day? Do we wonder if they live alone, or if there is a mother at home or a sister or a husband?”
  10. #50
    “She didn’t in the least mind being accused of having done something she had actually done. She could see the justice of that. It was, however, a totally new experience for her to be accused of a crime that she definitely had not committed.”
Books about dreamsView All ››
A Bedtime Yarn book
6.0
picture book
A Bedtime Yarn
Sleep, Baby, Sleep book
5.5
board book
Sleep, Baby, Sleep
Tomorrow Most Likely book
5.3
picture book
Tomorrow Most Likely
Bulldozer Dreams book
4.8
picture book
Bulldozer Dreams
Green Wilma book
4.6
picture book
Green Wilma
Sea Glass Summer book
4.6
picture book
Sea Glass Summer
Sweet Dreams book
4.5
picture book
Sweet Dreams
  1. #51
    “Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    Matilda
    character
    Matilda
    concepts
    LaughterChildren
  2. #52
    “THEY . . . USED . . . TO . . . READ! They’d READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!”
  3. #53
    “I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”
  4. #54
    “There is something about very cold weather that gives one an enormous appetite. Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave rich steaming stews and hot apple pies and all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want—or near enough.”
  5. #55
    “In the town itself, actually within sight of the house in which Charlie lived, there was an ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY! Just imagine that! And it wasn’t simply an ordinary enormous chocolate factory, either. It was the largest and most famous in the whole world!”
  6. #56
    “Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.”
  7. #57
    “It was a very beautiful thing, this Golden Ticket, having been made, so it seemed, from a sheet of pure gold hammered out almost to the thinness of paper. On one side of it, printed by some clever method in jet-black letters, was the invitation itself—from Mr. Wonka.”
  8. #58
    “There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.”
  9. #59
    “The only meals they could afford were bread and margarine for breakfast, boiled potatoes and cabbage for lunch, and cabbage soup for supper.”
  10. #60
    “Mr. Bucket was the only person in the family with a job. He worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long at a bench and screwed the little caps onto the tops of the tubes of toothpaste after the tubes had been filled.”
  1. #61
    “The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
    author
    Roald Dahl
    book
    The BFG
    concept
    Night
  2. #62
    Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”
    Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”
    Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”
  3. #63
    “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
  4. #64
    “Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all if it hasn’t been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn’t poached eggs unless it’s been stolen in the dead of the night.”
  5. #65
    “Is she the only one at fault? For though she’s spoiled, and dreadfully so, A girl can’t spoil herself, you know. Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed? Who pandered to her every need? Who turned her into such a brat? Who are the culprits? Who did that? Alas! You needn’t look so far To find out who these sinners are. They are (and this is very sad) Her loving parents, MUM and DAD. And that is why we’re glad they fell Into the garbage chute as well.”
  6. #66
    “Oh, my sainted aunt! Don’t mention that disgusting stuff in front of me! Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It’s made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!”
  7. #67
    “I don’t want a grown-up person at all. A grownup won’t listen to me; he won’t learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I have to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child, one to whom I can tell all my most precious candy-making secrets-while I am still alive.”
  8. #68
    “There’s no earthly way of knowing
    Which direction they are going!
    There’s no knowing where they’re rowing,
    Or which way the river’s flowing!
    Not a speck of light is showing,
    So the danger must be growing,
    For the rowers keep on rowing,
    And they’re certainly not showing
    Any signs that they are slowing. . . .”
  9. #69
    “Everything in this room is edible. Even I’m edible. But, that would be called canibalism. It is looked down upon in most societies.”
  10. #70
    ″‘You seemed so far away,’ Miss Honey whispered, awestruck. ‘Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings,’ Matilda said. ‘It was wonderful.‘”
  11. #71
    “I’m wondering what to read next,” Matilda said. “I’ve finished all the children’s books.”
    “You mean you’ve looked at the pictures?”
    “Yes, but I’ve read the books as well.”
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