Monday, July 11, 2011

4/365 The Witches

"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you."

Good golly, I love this book.  LOVE IT.  I could scream, I love it so much.  Yes, it's scary. Yes, terrible things happen to the main characters.  But it is hilarious.  I snort with laughter at every re-read.  And I never snort.  I can't even half-express how much I love Roald Dahl without screaming at you, my imaginary readers, in all caps and bombarding you with exclamation points that don't actually make sense, so I won't try.  Simply be assured that it is a lot of love.

And Quentin Blake's illustrations. AH! What a combo, right?  The books and pictures have become so completely smashed together in my head that I can't help thinking of one in terms of the other.  Quentin Blake puts so much character into his drawings.  I feel like a rat saying this (not a nice brown mouse), but there are some great illustrators I adore who just don't put much character into their characters.  The pictures are beautiful or charming or whatever, but when you look at, I don't know, three different books side by side, the children on the covers all look the same.  Different hair, different eye color - but basically the same pretty types.   Blake gives people giant noses and fat bellies and enormous ears.  Even the nice characters aren't idealized.   And I like that because it feels more true to life.  Or maybe I'm just full of hot air.   Anyways, if I ever end up working as an illustrator (which would be nice as I'm paying quite atrocious amounts of money to a college to learn how to do so), I hope the drawings I make have lots of personality in the same way.   I'd like to have a sort of basic, funny style that will allow me to do scary, black-comedy Lemony Snicket kinds of stories and sweet picture books.  

Well.  Another long tangent.  
Anyways, I love this book.  I love all Roald Dahl's kids books.  I can't decide which is my favorite.  James and the Giant Peach if a definite contender.  Ooh! If you, imaginary reader, are an audio book lover like moi, you must check out Jeremy Irons' reading of James and the Giant Peach.  It's a good contender for best book on tape ever, too.

CONCLUSION:  I am very fond of Roald Dahl's slightly bloodthirsty sense of humor, and think Quentin Blake expresses it perfectly in his drawings.  I want to go find more Roald Dahl booksRIGHTNOW, but I will restrain myself and try to read To The Lighthouse again, even though three pages in I realized I was dribbling drool without knowing it.  Maybe I was in the wrong mood for it or too tired or something.  I kept finishing sentences and feeling very proud, and then realizing, with a slump of the shoulders, that I couldn't remember what the front part of the sentence had been about.  Kid's book are just funner.  Yes, I said funner. 

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