September 13: Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl


On this day in 1916, Roald Dahl was born in Wales to Norwegian parents. He may be the most popular children’s novelist, and for good, quirky reason. His gems include Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach, and Matilda.

Ways to Celebrate: Throw a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory party, of course. If you want a healthier option, go with all things peach.

You also can check out Roald Dahl’s Cookbook or Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes. Be forewarned: the first will give you Dahl family meals, the second Lickable Wallpaper and Stink Bugs Eggs from his novels.

Bookswain Facts: Dahl was 6’6” but trained as a pilot. Crash-landing his fighter plane during WWII was the basis for his first published piece, “A Piece of Cake,” also titled  “Shot Down Over Libya.”

After his four-month-old Theo was struck by a taxicab, Dahl worked with a hydraulic engineer and neurosurgeon to invent the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, a shunt used to drain fluid and alleviate pressure on the brain.

Dahl couldn’t type, and always used a pencil.