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The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

The Magic Finger (original 1964; edition 1996)

by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,129421,798 (3.53)32
Showing 1-25 of 42 (next | show all)
A fairly typical Dahl cautionary tale about a girl who dislikes the things her two friends and their family do and so casts a sort of spell on them with her magic finger. This was much shorter than I expected – the story is 57 pages long – 16 of the total page count at the end of the book are made up of facts about Dahl and his books. Clearly I’m not the target market here – it’s probably long enough for little ones but it was over rather quickly for me! ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
I thought this story had a unique twist on animal cruelty/protection. A lot of people love to hunt and do not really think of the killing part of it. Also, children love magic, therefore they will like this one. Once the Gregg family is turned into a family of birds, they will realize what it is like to be on the other side. ( )
  tturkmen | Nov 30, 2015 |
An 8-year-old girl hates that the neighbouring Gregg family enjoy hunting. When they don't listen to her, she uses her Magic Finger to teach them a lesson. This is despite vowing never to use it again since she turned her teacher into a cat. The following day the Greggs wake up having turned overnight into smaller bird people with wings. Their house is taken over by four large ducks with human arms. The Greggs must build themselves a nest in the garden. The next day they wake up to find the ducks pointing guns at them. The Greggs beg for mercy and one of the ducks reveals that the Greggs shot her children on one of their hunting trips. When the Greggs promise never to hunt again the spell is broken. Great lessons here, well written, well illustrated, and funny as always. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Oct 21, 2015 |
Don't point that thing at me you crazy biatch!!! ( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
A very quick read to get my son to sleep tonight. The hero has a magic finger which, when she gets angry, causes all sorts of bad fortune for the subject of her anger. On the surface a statement against hunting (the neighbours learn their lesson and vow never to shoot again). There is however a deeper message about controlling anger, and how it can be used for good to bring about necessary change. ( )
  eclecticdodo | Jul 5, 2015 |
The narrator is an eight-year old girl whose "magic finger" wreaks revenge on whoever upsets her. The Greggs, her duck-hunting neighbours, get a taste of the finger when they ignore the girl's pleas to give up hunting.

This story is intended for younger children. In fact its plot is quite simple and its anti-hunting message is anything but subtle. My girls loved it though... ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Apr 5, 2015 |
A short enjoyable novella (or really short story) by Roald Dahl, is a nice version of his vicious moralizing as a family of hunters is forced to experience what it is like to be hunted--and unlike some other Dahl villains they end up redeemed by the experience. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
This was a really great book. I liked it because it was engaging for the reader and had a great message. I really liked how Roald Dahl keeps the reader interested the book right from the beginning. For example, when the Girl uses her magic finger when the boys went hunting, I wanted to know what happened to them. She talked about she “saw red” and then she could not control what happened. As a reader I wanted to quickly read through the book to see what was going to happen. The sentences were also very short. This let me read through the book quickly and it kept the action alive. For example, “ they had wings and no arms. And they were really tiny. They were about as big as robins.” Also, there weren’t a lot of long description paragraphs in the story, which also helped with being engaged in the book. The message of this story is important to the plot. This book really shows how terrible hunting animals can be and what it would be like if the roles were reversed. We need to be careful about what and who we hunt because we wouldn’t want to ever be hunted like that. ( )
  tsmith44 | Apr 10, 2014 |
okay. It seems maybe I should have read Roald Dahl as a child. I've not loved his books as an adult. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This book shows the value of being given a second chance and taking into consideration how one's actions affect others. It is an imaginative and goofy story in true Dahl style. ( )
  jthuro1 | Oct 24, 2013 |
While I do agree that hunting is wrong ... I'm not sure that turning hunters into ducks is the solution. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
Ever got red hot angry about something and pointed your finger at the target of your anger? This is exactly what happens to an 8 year old girl who lives next door to the Greggs, Mr & Mrs Gregg and their 2 sons Phillip and William. The girl ( as she is known in the story) is angry with the way Mr Gregg and his sons recklessly shoot ducks. One day as she witnesses them shooting 16 ducks and ready to aim at another 4, she admonishes Mr Gregg for his cruelty, he in return tells her to get lost! Feeling so angry, in fact red with anger she points her finger at him and storms off home. Mr Gregg and sons continue to aim at the 4 ducks who fly back and forth taunting the Greggs. Try as they may they cannot hit them. Later on that night strange things happen for the Gregg family. When they wake up they find that their arms have become wings and the 4 ducks have arms and their places of habitat have been exchanged. The Greggs busy themselves building a nest while the Ducks make themselves busy making themselves at home in the Gregg house. After spending a stormy night in the nest, the Greggs come to the realisation that hunting is a cruel, needless act. Vowing to change their ways, they revert back to humans and the girl marches off to point her finger to another shooter she can hear in the distance. This book can be used to question the right to shoot or not to shoot and why? It would be a great starting point to bring up this debate. ( )
  rata | Aug 4, 2013 |
So Roald Dahl does political/social commentary for children. It seemed a bit one sided and manipulative.

So, anyway. It was cute - well done. It's my second Roald Dahl and I will read more and I will recommend them. I did like The Witches a lot more though. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
More Dahl to amuse and distract - I love the warped flip-flop that Dahl does in this book. Is his moral really really overstated? Yes... but it's hilarious and absurd to make a point. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book was written back in 1966. In his typically offbeat way, Roald Dahl tackles an important issue that is still controversial and in the news today. ( )
  asomers | Feb 4, 2013 |
A great book about a young girl who has special magic powers and cannot control them, but uses them for the good of the environment. Teaches moral is in a very subtle way, good story/chapter book to read with older kids (3-4th grade) who will understand the lesson behind the story. ( )
  DonnaChoe | Jan 30, 2013 |
I love Roald Dahl but this book wasn't a favorite. It's content is a bit detailed for the younger readers. It is about a girl who has the power to punish people who make her mad and it's called "the magic finger." She doesn't have control over what it does or when it happens. It could potentially be used to compliment exploration of fantasy in second or third grade. ( )
  ColorBound | Dec 3, 2012 |
A young girl becomes angered by a neighboring family's sport hunting, so the eight-year-old girl turns her magic finger on them! This books is a fun and easy read for children and I would recommend it because it is a great way to get children involved in reading because the story is filled with comical scenes!
  Caitlin_Rinner | Oct 29, 2012 |
It's about a girl who has a magic finger and when she get upset she uses it and weird stuff happens. Her friends William and Phillip Gregg and their father love to hunt which she doesn't like so she used the magic finger and it turns the whole Gregg family into birds. The birds now have human qualities and take over the Gregg house and almost shoot the Gregg's until Mr. Gregg apologizes for killing their family and everything goes back to normal. ( )
  Gabe77 | Jan 29, 2012 |
  BRCSBooks | Dec 5, 2011 |
Be careful what you wish for as ducks are turned into hunters and hunters into ducks, great first chapter book for kids. ( )
  Alexandra1600 | Jul 24, 2011 |
(easy, chapter book, young reader, fiction) A young girl has a magic finger. Whenever she gets mad or is confronted with an injustice, her finger starts tingling and...blammo! She gives someone the magic finger, kind of like an evil eye. The recipient of the magic finger has the tables turned on them. In this story's case it is a family of hunters who spend the night being the ducks that they hunted the day before. When the new day dawns, the family becomes aware of what it must be like to be a hunted duck and vows to never hunt again. They are returned to their former human state. They even crush their guns with hammers and bury the ducks they shot the day before. A good story for helping children to develop empathy and understand that others have viewpoints that may be different from theirs.
  derbygirl | Jul 21, 2011 |
This is a story that a girl who is unnamed is telling the story of her life. She has a neighbor called Gregg's. Gregg's family likes to go hunting with their gun. But the girl hates when she sees that the Gregg's family come out of the wood with an animal. This girl has a magic on her finger. When ever she sees red she automatically uses her finger. The time when this girl saw Gregg's family coming out of the wood with an animal, she saw red, and she used her magical finger. But she did something wrong. The girl just wanted Mr.Gregg, Philip and William, but she accidentally put the magic on to Mrs.Gregg. That night Gregg's family was cooking the animal that Mr.Gregg, Philip and WIlliam hunted. After eating dinner Mr.Gregg and Mrs.Gregg were trying to get in bed. Then! Mr.Gregg's arm changed to a wing. That was the magic that the girl put on them. How will the Gregg family come back to human? ( )
  ywoo | May 10, 2011 |
It is funny. Not as good as some of the other Roal Dahl books but it is still good. ( )
  2pigs | Apr 13, 2011 |
The Magic Finger was a bit on the boring side because it is meant for younger readers, but it was quite funny too. ( )
  be252000 | Jan 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-25 of 42 (next | show all)

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Average: (3.53)
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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141322683, 0141333219

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