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We Can All Be Heroes for Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day is the annual, global celebration of the world’s number one storyteller, his beloved stories and unforgettable character

Roald Dahl Day happens on and around September 13th, the author’s birthday.

This year, we celebrate the iconic child heroes of Roald Dahl’s stories – step forward Matilda, James, Charlie, Danny, Sophie and George! Roald Dahl was always a champion for children in a world ruled by adults. The young heroes of his stories are distinct individuals – from rule-breaker MATILDA to adventurous, team-leader James, to anarchic inventor George - but they are united by a spirit of healthy rebellion and resilience.

September 2017 brings a new Roald Dahl hero to the fore. Billy is the hero of Billy and the Minpins, Dahl’s very last book. Originally published as The Minpins, a picture book with wonderful colour illustrations by Patrick Benson, the story is now being published as a beautiful hardback chapter-book, under the title Billy and the Minpins (an alternative title of Roald’s) with, for the first time, black-and-white line illustrations by Quentin Blake. Some 40 years after his first collaboration with Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake now completes their unique creative partnership with Billy and the Minpins published by Penguin Random House on September 7th.

September will also see a currently top-secret new book – created by publisher Wonderbly in partnership with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate – which will take readers (child and adult) into one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved stories in a fresh and interactive way. This book enables EVERY child to become the HERO of his or her own Roald Dahl story. It’s a truly groundbreaking piece of publishing which promises to be the most personalised book ever published.

And that is nowhere near the end of the story… Roald Dahl’s young heroes are springing from the pages of the stories and travelling to locations around the UK, thanks to a unique collaboration with LEGO. Child-sized LEGO builds of SIX iconic Roald Dahl heroes will appear at locations including London, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, throughout the UK… schools, libraries, bookshops and community groups will be celebrating Roald Dahl Day using the Party Pack, which is free to download from www.roalddahl.com/partypack2017/. The pack includes everything kids and the Sparky Grown-Ups in their lives need to enjoy an amazing Roald Dahl Day. In the spirit of Billy and the Minpins – and the spirit of Roald Dahl’s young heroes across the board - we are challenging young people to #believeinmagic.

As always, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire has special events on and around Roald Dahl Day. The museum is welcoming Dahl’s newest hero BILLY with a bespoke exhibition bringing together prints of Quentin Blake’s brand-new drawings for Billy and the Minpins and extracts from Roald Dahl’s original manuscripts. The museum also has themed trails into the countryside which inspired Billy and the Minpins

In schools all over the UK, kids – and teachers! – will be dressing up as their favourite Roald Dahl characters, thanks to the #Dahlicious Dress Up Day. Every dress-up makes a £1 donation to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity which raises much-needed funds for seriously ill children and runs the Roald Dahl Nurses programme which currently has 54 specialist children’s nurses in hospitals around the UK.

Also in schools, the Puffin Virtually Live webcast has become an annual highlight of Roald Dahl Day– viewed by millions of kids, not only in UK classrooms and school halls but in places as far-flung as India, Australia, Canada and the Philippines. The 2017 show for Roald Dahl Day will be broadcast at 14:00 GMT on September 13th. Hosted by CBBC’s Katie Thistleton, viewers will explore the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre’s archives with its Director Steve Gardam, meet special guest, YouTube inventor and author of This Books Isn't Safe! Colin Furze and find out how Quentin Blake reimagined BILLY AND THE MINPINS. Schools can see their tweets on screen by using the hashtag #BelieveInMagic.

In the Roald Dahl Day Party Pack and also online – through the Roald Dahl social channels – you will find loads of ideas to help Sparky Grown-Ups (yes, that’s YOU!) make the kids in their lives feel like the heroes they are for Roald Dahl Day by creating magical scenarios straight from the pages of Roald Dahl’s stories... So, whether you’d like to make your daughter feel like Sophie (waking to find a Dream Jar, abandoned by The BFG) or your son feel like Charlie (arriving at the breakfast table to discover his own Golden Ticket), you’ll find loads of great ideas to help you and your kids #believeinmagic on Roald Dahl Day and beyond.



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