Roald Dahl is remembered as one of the best children's storytellers of all time and has become a staple feature of children's literature. Dahl wrote a number of classics throughout his career and was once referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". Dahl's books are not the typical children's storybook and are instead extremely dark, funny, strange, and sometimes often quite scary.
Although Dahl died in 1990, his books still remain exceptionally popular with more and more children introduced to the wonderful world of Roald Dahl every year. Here are 10 of the best Roald Dahl books, ranked.
10 The Minpins
For some reason, people tend to forget that Roald Dahl wrote The Minpins, or that The Minpins ever existed at all, even though it has the pleasure of being Dahl's final contribution to children's literature.
Yes, the book, which was first released in 1991, is often forgotten about with other Dahl books seemingly more well known. The plot centers around a young boy named Billy, who is forbidden from going into the Forest of Sin which is coincidentally right behind his house. Obviously, Billy ends up going inside, only to come face to face with some scary characters and terrifying animals.
9 The BFG
The BFG is one of the more heartbreaking Roald Dahl stories, especially with regards to the main character, Sophie. Sadly, Sophie lives in an orphanage as a result of her parent's death when she was a baby. Dahl was seemingly obsessed with the macabre, with orphaned children a somewhat common theme in his work.
One night, Sophie meets the big friendly giant, in other words, the BFG, who takes her on a whole host of adventures, one of which includes meeting the queen. The book is a great introduction to the wonderful world of Roald Dahl and even has two movie adaptions.
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
For some reason, Fantastic Mr. Fox doesn't seem to get the recognition that it deserves and is often forgotten about amongst the other great classics of Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
However, not only is Fantastic Mr. Fox a great story, but it is also a good bridge for your kids to cross when they want to up their reading game. Yes, although Fantastic Mr. Fox is still a children's story, it is probably one of Roald Dahl's meatier stories. The plot centers around a family of foxes with one fox, in particular, doing his very best to steal food from the three horrible farmers who live in the farm above ground. Let's face it, who doesn't love an anthropomorphic fox?
7 Esio Trot
Esio Trot is often forgotten amongst the Roald Dahl back catalog, even though it is often regarded as one of his best pieces of work. The book follows the life of Mr. Hoppy, a lonely old man who is madly in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver.
Sadly, Mr. Hoppy is unable to tell her how he feels, so instead, he uses her pet tortoise as a means of getting closer to her. The book has one of the most original narratives in the world and is great for young children due to its silliness and childlike nature.
6 James And The Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach has the pleasure of being Roald Dahl's first book for children, and as a result, it is often overlooked. Dahl set the scene quite early on when it came to the macabre, with James one of the first children's characters to, unfortunately, feel the wrath of his dark writing.
That's right, early on in the book, it is revealed that Jame's parents were eaten by escaped rhinoceros, leaving him in the care of his awful aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Thankfully, James manages to escape his abusive family and ends up in the middle of a gigantic peach along with talking insects. Wonderful!
5 Boy: Tales Of Childhood
Boy: Tales of Childhood is very different from Dahl's usual work, mostly due to the writing being a bit more advanced and the fact that it is an autobiography. The book follows Dahl from birth, the public school system, childhood experiences and living in Britain during the 1920s and 30s.
It is clear to see how his escapades as a youth inspired his books later on in life, with characters such as headteachers, teachers, and sweet shop owners featuring in Dahl's work. Furthermore, it is obvious to see where Dahl's obsession with the macabre may have sprung from, especially with regard to death. For instance, Dahl lost his seven-year-old sister when he was just three years old, with his father passing away just weeks later.
4 The Twits
The Twits is probably one of the strangest children's books in the world, not to mention grossest. The plot centers around a grotesque husband and wife who not only despise each other but they do their best to irritate each other by playing pranks.
The pair are also extremely unhygienic with Mr. Twit known for his dirty beard with scrapes of stilton cheese stuck inside, and Mrs. Twit famed for hitting children and animals with her walking stick. Hilariously, the book came about due to Roald Dahl's hatred of beards, with the first line of the story reading, "What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays!"
Matilda is probably one of the most well-known Roald Dahl books, which is down to the successful movie and theatre adaptations. The book, which came out in 1988, was an instant success with some comparing it to the heartwarming nature of The BFG. The book is memorable for a number of things, such as Miss Trunchbull and the dreaded chokey, Bruce Bogtrotter and the chocolate cake, and Matilda being the coolest kid alive, despite having horrible parents.
Sadly, Matilda was the last full-length children's book to come out of the Dahl catalog as he passed away just two years later.
2 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of Roald Dahl's most famous novels and one that had also had a special place in the author's heart, yes, the plot came about due to Dahl's love of chocolate. The book follows young Charlie Bucket who is lucky enough to find a golden ticket to one of the most prestigious chocolate factories in the world.
Then, in typical Dahl fashion, the story introduces a whole host of unsavory characters that are both fascinating yet repulsive. The book was a bestseller from the get-go and has even inspired not one but two movie adaptations.
1 The Witches
The Witches is by far Roald Dahl's best piece of work. If fact, not only is it extremely well written but it is also pretty scary, although not scary enough for young children, so don't worry. The plot follows the life of an orphaned boy named Luke who is being raised by his Norweigan grandmother.
Luke's grandmother loves to tell him stories about witches and how to spot them, something that Luke takes on board but doesn't quite believe until he meets one in person. The book is known for having one of the best children's books villains of all time, that of the Grand High Witch.