Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book


Fall 2006 Audio Book
Ages: 9 & Up
CD Price: $25.95
The witching hour. Every child's worst nightmare. And, on one particularly gloomy night, a nightmare becomes reality for little Sophie, a resident of one of London's orphanages, as she is snatched from her bed by a monstrous creature. So Dahl begins The BFG, but it doesn't take long to discover that the monster, otherwise known as BFG, is just what his acronym stands for: Big Friendly Giant. The BFG by Roald Dahl is a book with multiple messages of compassion, bravery and looking beyond appearance. “Don't judge a book by its cover,” so Dahl appears to say, don't judge a creature by its giant-ness. The BFG also is a story about ingenuity and the magic of dreams. Through it all, Dahl creates one of children's literature's most beloved characters, the big, friendly giant, BFG. Who wouldn't want to curl up in his ear, careful not to fall into its chambers, and whiz across land and sea to the faraway world of the giants?

Natasha Richardson, who reads the story, demonstrates her acumen in the voice of little Sophie. Richardson's ability to change voices from a little British orphan to a monstrous giant is remarkable. Her transformation from the BFG to the other ogre giants is equally thrilling. Perhaps most fun for kids of all ages, is Dahl's imaginative play on and with words Dahl peppers throughout his story. Richardson's delivery thoroughly enhances the book; it's great fun to hear her adaptation of his hilarious words.

Add to her performance, Dahl's ingenious language and highly entertaining story, and you have one of the best audio books around. And, I'm not twiddling your leg.

Barbara Pape   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Barbara Pape is a consultant for WETA’s Reading project and is a freelance education writer and author of two traveling with kids books. She has an EdM from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and is the mother of two teens who share her love for a good book.

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