Roald Dahl, before J.K. Rowling, had such a profound impact on my life. From my first encounter with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he was the first author to consume me, hook, line and sinker. I’d spend hours holed up at home reading his books, much like his beloved character Matilda, and my brother and I would raid library shelves and fight one another over who got to read what book first. What I loved most about him is that he didn’t treat children’s literature as an opportunity to patronize. Instead, he made valuable, honest observations and presented them so hilariously and openly that they had the power to lastingly stay throughout life and well into adulthood. I still think about the kindness he inspired in me through his observations on his youth, documented in Boy. I admire the selflessness of his character Charlie, who continually put his family before himself and who mindfully cherished his birthday gifts of chocolate bars in a way that I remember as I gobble mine down now. I think of The Witches and my dread; the first time I told my mum an auntie was definitely a witch because she had a hooked nose and her hair looked like a wig. And of course Matilda, my hero, who before Hermione, gave me a strong female role model with an uncanny brain, a healthy dose of magic and Ms. Honey’s cottage which has remained an ideal for me in my interior decorating. All in all, what a gift his books were! Here is a nugget of wisdom, complete with the helpful, hilarious illustration that have been forever etched in my brain.