Roald Dahl; The Author By Chance

Roald Dahl is one of the most famous and well recognised children’s book authors.

His stories are quick classics; a staple in the forming of a child’s growing imagination. Most stories relate to lifelong lessons that are better learned as a child. His books are told from the child’s viewpoint, which will often put the adults as the villains in the plot. There will always be a good ending as life is full of opportunities as he believed.

roald dahl

Take It from the Top

Not every author is born knowing they will one day be famous; sometimes it happens to be they never knew they were going to be a writer! This was very much the case for Roald Dahl. Starting off in the Royal Air Force, he eventually settled down to a 30-year marriage and had five children. His life is dotted with historical and saddening moments. Many of his books are dedicated to family members who were lost or sick, Dahl believed that a smile could work wonders for a child. After a divorce, Dahl continued writing and improved dramatically, selling more copies than he had in the previous years. He was also very involved in the community, he wrote about what was passionate to him, thus to others. His colleagues can be quoted as saying “he was a man who went on a whim; you never knew which side he would take.”

Style Progression

Roald Dahl worked with many artists at the beginning of his career, yet his style has always been distinct. Despite various influences over time, Dahl has remained true to the style that inspired him to start writing; inspire learning among youth. His widely known partner in writing was Quentin Blake. Blake was a huge influence on Dahl and helped him learn his strengths. Through collaborating, Dahl was able to work with another great artists and showcase his skills.

quentin blake

Why Dahl Is Remembered

Understanding why this man is still a staple in the learning process, and imaginative palette parent’s use, is relatively straight forward when you understand his motives. Dahl wanted to inspire children to overcome the obstacles before them, such as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Charlie over came insurmountable odds and gained new opportunities. There was a lesson in every piece written by Dahl, no matter what your age was, you could always relate. As an adult reading the stories, at times the meaning may be hallowing, the use of dark humor was critical in his writing.

quentin blake

Common Themes

Poverty- Growing up, Dahl was raised with various economical influences. Britain was not the epicenter of wealth, but there was enough to go around. As a writer, Dahl often would pull memories and slums that were located in the darker recesses of the area.
Self-Worth- Most of the characters created have a sense of learned helplessness in the start of the books. Through a traumatic event or plot twist, the person becomes more self-reliable and has greater confidence in their actions.
Bad Relatives- Dahl is known for taking family members of characters and turning them into the antagonists that are fairly cruel to the main character. Another relative will there to help guide the character along, helping them to reach whatever lesson needs to be learned. There is not always a predictable ending, and that is what makes reading the stories so interesting.

As with many authors their work gets the most notoriety when they pass. Great writers such as Dahl will not be forgotten as his stories still can influence youth. While not officially classed as a classic, most titles are known in the majority of households.

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • "Thank you so much Sarah! What a fantastic set of illustrations for the first in our series of children’s books. We can’t wait to work with you on the second book!" Jane Archer-Wilms & Marlies Veenhof

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • “Logos received with a BIG thanks, Basically I love them all” 
    Helen Chuah, Giggling Baby Products

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • "Sarah is quality.  Not just her design but she is a pleasure to work with."
    - Bob Harper, Portfolio Marketing

  • Got home tonight and the books had arrived. Absolutely love them. My girlfriend loves your illustrations.” - Andrew Jeffery: 'Wolfboy Book'

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • "Yes!!!! Wow…Love it!!! ..thanks so much, I absolutely the character design you have done for us!!! xx” Lisa Dell, Cornish Firewood

  • "You do have a very positive feel about everything you do. I do wish you continued success in all your work. All the best, SimonSimon James, Famous Children’s Book Illustrator

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "i really like ur books my mommy reads them 2 me all the time ur really good at drawling and i want 2 be like u when i grow up :-)"  Natassia Flegal (hd fan)

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • "It won’t be a struggle working with Sarah, it’ll be a pleasure. Can’t recommend enough”
    - Richard Quick

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "Sarah provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could" Discovery Leisure

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "I am absolutely THRILLED TO BITS with your illustrations! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!”
    - Susanna Jennicrai, Book Author

  • "Our brand wouldn't be the same without her on-going input. Just fab xx”
    - Justine Rogers, Dainty Dizzy