When Susan Corcoran’s daughter Emma heard that her mom had never read “one of the greatest kids’ books of all time,” she couldn’t believe it. Emma, an avid reader and super Roald Dahl fan, knew they had to remedy that ASAP. So the two set out to read The BFG together.
We asked Susan and Emma to share a bit about their experience reading The BFG,one of Brightly’s Book Club for Kids picks. Here’s what they had to say about the genius of Dahl, the power of belief, and the strength of the “small”.
Susan: Emma, remember when I told you I had never read The BFG?
Emma: Yes, I was shocked! I didn’t understand how someone who works in publishing had never read “one of the greatest kids’ books of all time!”
Susan: Why do you love this book so much?
Emma: It’s such a great story: the characters of Sophie and the BFG are so wonderful. It has such great plot twists and it really makes you think.
Emma: Remember how the BFG makes Sophie think about bigger things? Like how the BFG made you think about how humans don’t believe in things they can’t see even though they really might be there.
Susan: What do you think that means? What do think Roald Dahl was trying to say?
Emma: Humans shouldn’t just believe in things they can see. They have to believe in things greater than themselves.
Susan: Why do you think Roald Dahl always wrote about orphans or kids who might not have had good parents or were maybe living a hard life?
Emma: I think he wanted to show that kids are a lot smarter, and know a lot more than adults think. They have more imagination — believe in things more. I think he wanted to show that kids can take care of themselves and take charge when adults can’t. That kids can do big things!
Susan: Why do you think Sophie saw the BFG and no one else could?
Emma: I think Sophie was special and she was supposed to see him. It was her destiny.
Susan: Well, she was the little girl who stayed up late to read books.
Emma: Right, she was one of those people who had an open mind. She was open to believing in the mystical and magical things of the world.
Mom, who was your favorite character?
Susan: Well, it’s hard not to love the BFG but I really loved the Queen. I love how she believed in this little girl and a giant and trusted them and then took care of those giants. Who was yours?
Emma: Sophie! Because I loved how she came up with a plan to take care of those nasty giants. She made it up off the top of her head and then saw it through. She made it happen!
Susan: Do you think those giants were a symbol for something?
Emma: Mmmm, this is a tricky one … I think they may have been a symbol for human greed and the BFG and Sophie are the people are willing to stand up and change bad things in the world. And that’s why the BFG was the ‘runt’ of the giants, because even though he was the smallest, he made a big difference.
Susan: Do you think Roald Dahl was a kid at heart?
Emma: Definitely, because he had such a good way of describing a kid’s view, and he wrote so well about the way kids think.
Mom, do you think you would enjoy other Roald Dahl books?
Susan: I have read other Roald Dahl books! And I loved them. James and the Giant Peach is my favorite along with Matilda — I loved that we read that one together, too. But you’ve read them all, right? What’s your favorite?
Susan: Are you excited about the movie of The BFG?
Emma: Yes, but you know it won’t be as good as the book!