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Musings for the Modern Mystic

Musings for the Modern Mystic

As is often the case with children's authors, Roald Dahl's work was full of wisdom. Here are 10 Roald Dahl Quotes to put the Magic back in your Madness.

12 Roald Dahl Quotes to Put the Magic Back in your Madness


Last Updated on April 9, 2024

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It takes a unique soul to captivate the minds and hearts of children with words, particularly generation after generation. There are scores of children’s books being produced every year, but how many will stand the test of time, being read decades from now, as they were decades prior?

A few notable names stand out: Dr. Suess, Robert Munsch, Shel Silverstein; J.K Rowling and C.S. Lewis for the slightly older children — all brilliant and unique in their own right.

None of them, however, possessed the particular, peculiar magic that Roald Dahl brought to the page. The traditional Norwegian folk tales his mother would tell him as a child, his unhappy time in boarding school and his later travels abroad undoubtedly played a part in the stories he created. 

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach, The Twits, The BFG and The Enormous Crocodile are only some of the classics he brought to life over the course of his career. Rich, otherworldly, dark, fantastical and furiously funny, few have done what Dahl did. And, as is often the case with children’s authors, he brought a wealth of wisdom into this world through his work.

Here are 10 Roald Dahl Quotes sure to put the Magic back in your Madness.

  • “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” ~ Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
  • “Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all if it hasnt been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn’t poached eggs unless it’s been stolen in the dead of the night.” ~ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • “When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants – and DESERVES – is a parent who is SPARKY!” ~ Danny the Champion of the World
  • “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.” ~ The Twits (See our full post about this here.)
  • “So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.” ~ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • “Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.” ~ Danny the Champion of the World
  • “My dear young fellow,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, ‘there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.” ~ James and the Giant Peach
  • “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 phoney.” ~ Danny the Champion of the World
  • “The secret of life’, he said, ‘is to become very very good at somethin’ that’s very very ‘ard to do.” ~ The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
  • “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…” ~ Matilda
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ The Minpins
  • “The prime function of the children’s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most marvelously through the tangles of his later years.”


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