Roald Dahl For Breakfast

All Dahl books were illustrated by the brilliant Quentin Blake: http://www.quentinblake.com

Puffin Books will soon be bringing books to the breakfast table, at least for children in the U.K. The Telegraph reports that this month Puffin will be releasing a set of cereal boxes with quotes on them from well-loved British author Roald Dahl. The extracts, from books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG, will be short, exciting, and hopefully encourage kids to read. My favorite quote was from Francesca Dow, managing director of children’s books at Penguin (which owns Puffin Books):

The great thing about a cereal box, is that it potentially is reaching millions of households that just don’t read any literature outside of school. There could be an enormous number of children discovering Roald Dahl for the first time, bleary eyed over the breakfast table.

Ms. Dow made me laugh. I was trying to picture bleary-eyed victims viewing anything besides the milk jug as a thrilling discovery. Clearly, Ms. Dow has not had the pleasure of breakfasting with my family.

Nevertheless, there might be some definite advantages to a sort of “book-teaser” on the back of a cereal box. I find this appealing precisely because it’s not ad space for the latest in publishing (to which I would cry–Is no space sacred? Shall even my breakfasting be defiled by shameless promotional clamoring?? IS THERE NOTHING GOOD LEFT IN THE WORLD?!?)  But I digress.

It seems to be a genuine effort to introduce a classic children’s author to new kids. Which is cool. I hope that it goes beyond mere “quotables” and actually encourages reading. If anyone can do that, Roald Dahl probably can.

Any other options not included? Let us know in the comments!
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3 thoughts on “Roald Dahl For Breakfast

  1. I hope that there is a teaser on the cereal boxes. You know, the cliff-hanger sort that makes you want to find the book in the library so that you can see how it ends. Maybe it will engage and entice more young minds to got to the library and find out how it ends. But to be honest, I don’t expect that.
    I expect that the parts that they put on the cereal boxes will be simply a nice clip of a short story that is complete in itself so others will feel the warm fuzzy of a breakfast and cereal box literature. My cynicism rises again.
    Of Roald Dahl’s works, I really enjoy his cook book ( “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes”) and his biography “Going Solo”. These don’t sound that imaginative or children’s bookish, but I didn’t really discover him till I was an adult and I got to read some of his books to my kids. And…the recipe book is definitely imaginative and worth ANYONE of any age to check it out!
    What do you remember of breakfast’s with your family, huh? 🙂

  2. Having something other than simple mazes or paper games on cereal boxes would have been great for me–especially when I was younger. Every morning I’d eat breakfast and stare at the back of the cereal box. The games got old pretty quickly, but reading excerpts from books would have allowed me to imagine what had happened before or after the part showcased. For kids who struggle with reading, getting a small piece in a manageable size might even inspire them to pick up the actual book. It’s all about garnering interest.

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