Posts Tagged ‘Roald Dahl’

Novel Nibbles: Trunchbull’s Chocolate Cake

“I’ll tell you what I’m talking about, you suppurating little blister!” the Trunchbull shouted. “Yesterday morning, during break, you sneaked like a serpent into the kitchen and stole a slice of my private chocolate cake from my tea-tray! That tray had been prepared for me personally by the cook! It was my morning snack! And as for the cake! it was my own private stock! That was not boy’s cake! You don’t think for one minute I’m going to eat the filth I give to you?┬áThat cake was made from real butter and cream! And he, that robber-bandit, that safe-cracker, that highwayman standing over there with his socks around┬áhis ankles stole it and ate it!” Matilda, Roald Dahl

This weeks Novel Nibbles post is very dear to me. Not only is it inspired by my favourite childhood book, it is also a tribute to my earliest book inspired food memory. Even as an adult I delight in Bruce Bogtrotter getting one over on tyrannical Trunchbull and using a delicious chocolate cake no less!

What is not there to love about chocolate cake?!

My personal favourite is Devil’s Food Cake and my favourite recipe comes from my much loved copy of the Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Book: The Cook’s Classic Companion.

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…or the quick way!

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Lemon juice or white vinegar to sour the milk

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Check out the wooden spoon. No mixers here!

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Measuring out my dry ingredients

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Nearly time to lick the bowl!

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Impatiently waiting for the cakes to cool.

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Adding chocolate frosting to the first of four layers!

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Can you pull a Bogtrotter and eat the whole thing?

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I’ll give it a go!

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Post by Caroline

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The Enormous Crocodile

Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake (illustrator)

The Enormous Crocodile is incredibly hungry-and incredibly greedy. His favorite meal is a plump, juicy little child, and he intends to gobble up as many of them as he can! But when the other animals in the jungle join together to put an end to his nasty schemes, the Enormous Crocodile learns a lesson he won’t soon forget. Dahl’s wicked humor is as delightful as ever in this new, larger edition of a hilarious favourite.

Now in my early 30’s, trying to remember what books were read to the class at the age of 7 years old is quite a stretch, except for this one. I think it’s fair to say that the whole class was captivated and then the weeks of fun afterwards trying to scare each other by pointing out where this monstrous croc was probably hiding; in the playground, classroom etc. This was my first experience of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake and I have been chomping at the bit to share this wonderful author and illustrator combo with my own children.

The ‘Enormous Crocodile’ is perfect for my soon to be primary school age child. It’s just the right size to be considered a proper storybook but still just short enough that you can finish reading the book with your child in one sitting. The illustrations, even in this 2008 edition is still in Quentin Blake’s witty and captivating style and quite rightly so, dominate each page. As it’s a much loved book of mine, its also one of the few books that I can genuinely say that I don’t mind reading again and again.

Of course that’s all very good but does this story still captivate children 25+ yrs later?

You betcha. I remember the first time I read this to my daughter. I knew I had her entranced at the very first page when the enormous crocodile talks about eating ‘a nice juicy, little child’. She stopped me reading to make sure she had heard right. To try and balance out all the princesses and fairies paraphernalia I do make sure that we read ‘non- fluffy’ text but I can’t recall many children’s books where the main protagonist is the ‘monster’ who doesn’t try or isn’t forced to redeem himself in anyway.

It was then a pleasure to explore each page where the cunning croc annoys the local animals and then his ingenious plans, pretending to be various objects to get close enough to the children to munch, are always thwarted at the last minute by the other animals. Then there is the rather unusual but delightful ending where the nasty croc gets his comeuppance!

Verdict- A nostalgic delight that’s timeless in it’s appeal to children and a great introduction to the delights of Roald Dahl.

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: March 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, humour
Age: Early readers
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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