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Danny: The Champion of the World by Roald…
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Danny: The Champion of the World (original 1975; edition 1975)

by Roald Dahl

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4,054561,254 (4.03)81
Member:JTandRobin
Title:Danny: The Champion of the World
Authors:Roald Dahl
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (1975), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 196 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, children

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Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl (1975)

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English (54)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
A wonderful and sweet story of the love between father and son and their triumph over an overbearing bully.
Recommended for both children and adults. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
It's a rare thing to have a boy tell the story of how cool his father is, right? Danny's mother has passed and it's like his father has heaped all the love and caring he had for her on him, not in an ugly codependent sort of way, but in a really fantastic double the fun kind of way. There are great messages about wealth, greed, and contentment throughout. ( )
  CALammert | Apr 23, 2016 |
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: Danny The Champion of the World (on Librarything)
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Jill Bennett
Language: English
Series: no
Reviews for other books by this author (up till now): De prinses en de stroper - twee fabels (Dutch translation of "Two fables", English review), M'n liefje, m'n duifje (Dutch translation of "Someone like you", Dutch review).
Format of publication: paperback
Number of pages: 175
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year published: original 1975, my edition 1977
ISBN number: 0140309128
Topics: poaching, pheasants, love between father and child
Reason for reading: It's Roald Dahl year!
Recommended: Yes. It's quite different from Roald Dahl's other children's stories, as there's no magic in here at all, but it's still a nice story.

Short summary:
Danny lives with his father at a filling station. Close by, there's a forest owned by Mr. Victor Hazell, full of pheasants he raises for the yearly hunt.
Since Danny was born, his father hadn't gone out poaching... But one evening he can't stop himself and goes out to Mr. Hazell's forest. Of course it's forbidden to poach, but he still wants to catch pheasants. When Danny discovers his father wants to poach pheasants, he thinks of a brilliant plan.

Back cover text:
The story of a father and his son, the love they have for each other, and how they combine to outwit the wily, wicked, weaselly, Mr. Victor Hazell.

Comments on the back cover text:
There's a longer bit of text on the first page inside with a longer description of the story, but that one sentence does get to the point of the story nicely.

First paragraph:
When I was four months old, my mother died suddenly and my father was left to look after me all by himself. This is how I looked at the time.

Comments on the first paragraph:
This short first paragraph is followed by an old baby photo. It's the only photo illustration in the book, the rest is drawn by hand.

Review:
Story:
Contrary to most of Roald Dahl's other stories, there is absolutely no magic or something that can't really be explained in this book. All things that happen in this book, would be possible in reality as well.

The story is told by Danny, and most of it is about the things that take place at their home, the filling-station and the forest, but there's one chapter in which Danny describes his school. That chapter is a bit different from the rest of the story, but similar to an event described in "Boy" (Roald Dahl's autobiography about his childhood, published in 1984).
There are also some references to other books written by him:
Chapter 2 is about "The Big Friendly Giant" - well known from another book! The BFG book was published in 1982, about 7 years later.
In this same chapter, Dahl writes about the BFG: "He can hear the sudden shrill cry of pain a tree gives out when a woodman cuts into it with an axe." And this was one of the stories in his 1961 short story collection "Someone like you".
In chapter 12 ("Thursday and School") there's also a bit about witches:
'She's a sort of witch,' he said. 'And to prove it, she has seven toes on each foot.'
In 1983, Roald Dahl's book "The Witches" was published, in which the witches have no toes at all.

What makes this book interesting is the topic: poaching. Danny's father is great - he loves Danny and provides him with everything he needs (not with lots of material possessions, but family love and fun activities). However, even such a fantastic man can do something forbidden by law: stealing another man's birds. Roald Dahl makes this more acceptable for the reader because the man they steal from isn't nice, and he clearly differentiates their ways of living (rich man with a forest full of pheasants he's only raising to let them be shot / Danny and his father, poor but happy together). The way they catch the pheasants is also quite child-friendly and original. It's not about killing the pheasants at all (which is not what you'd expect from a story about poaching), though Dahl's descriptions of roasted pheasant do make a bit hungry... I've never eaten it, though.
It's also fun to read that many adults in the village, even people you don't expect it from, has some relationship to the practice of poaching. It's a well-kept secret in the village, but it is known by everyone!

Writing style:
The story is told by Danny, so the sentences are short and the language is simple. It does make the reader understand Danny quite well, so the things Danny is nervous about, the reader is nervous about too!

Art:
I also own the edition with Quentin Blake's drawings, but in this edition the drawings are by Jill Bennett. Her drawings are very realistic, which fits the story quite nicely.
The only comment I have is that on page 64, Danny is walking on the right side of his dad, and on the drawing he's walking on the left side... All other times, the drawings are exactly as described in the text.

Conclusion:
A story about poaching pheasants which is not about killing pheasants, but more about the love between a father and a son and the fun they can have together.
Still, if you really don't like to read about catching birds, this might not be the best book to read.

Rereadability:
I've read this story before (the Dutch translation) and I enjoyed this story even more the second time!

Related links:
- This review on my weblog.
  mene | Feb 13, 2016 |
One of the best things about the four-year space between my children is that I can enjoy a delightful story with both of them knowing that the younger one is going to forget it within a year or so, and I'll have a chance to enjoy it with him again before too long.

This is just the kind of delightful book I'm looking forward to revisiting.

I love how some of Dahl's other stories showed up in this book. My daughter is reading The BFG with her dad, and we were tickled that this is one of the stories Danny's dad tells him.

I also loved that this gave my daughter a different view of poachers. She's an eight-year-old animal-lover and aspiring animal rights activist, and I appreciate that this book gives another perspective on why someone might hunt an animal illegally besides just financial gain. Dahl doesn't say poaching is good, he just presents a situation in which it's not clearly bad. I like this moral ambiguity. Poaching in this book is stealing, it's dangerous, and it's not even necessary for the characters in the story to do, but it's also a challenge (even more than legal hunting as it's practiced in the book) and something that brings people together and creates community. Of course, it's also a way to get the goat of a mean rich guy, and that's always fun, I suppose.

Danny's father is perhaps a teensy bit too perfect for my taste, but at least he flirts with doing the wrong thing (like getting into a temper and almost beating up a man). But then, this just highlights the moral ambiguity in the book. Here I'm applying the labels "right" and "wrong" to the behavior of a man who has a yen for trespassing and stealing pheasants, a man who could be called a criminal. It's not even clear to me where I draw the line between right and wrong, and it's not totally clear to the characters, either.

This along with Dahl's characteristic way of telling someone's emotions by describing their actions is why I love this book. Dahl writes a fairly simple scene, like a walk to school, and injects so much emotion and meaning into it, it becomes something so much bigger, but not in a heavy-handed way.

Like I said: delightful! ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Feb 3, 2016 |
I've loved all of Roald Dahl's other children's books and loved this one too. The relationship between the boy, Danny, and his father was simply delightful, as was Dahl's language. Fathers, take note of this example of a great father. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Danny the champion of the world by Roald Dahl, 1975- 205 pages. Isabel Arguelles 10 A

Danny was a boy that had 9 years old, he lived only with his dad, because her mom died when he had 4 months. He and his dad were very poor and they lived on a Gypsy caravan. His father worked on a filling station and on a garage.Danny wanted to be a car mechanic like him and he was very proud of him. one night, woke up and he saw that his father wasn't there, so when his father came to the caravan, he ask to him what he was doing, and he told to him a dark secret. he was a pheasant poacher. he knew that it was stealing, but he steals from a mean man called Mr.hazell.

Another night, his father went to a poaching expedition but he didnt return, so Danny distressed, drives his car made of wood to find him. he found him on a pit on Mr.hazell's land, but his father had a broken leg, so Danny take him to the doctor. when they were there, danny had a brillant idea, to ridicule Mr. hazell for doing this to his dad.

Mr. hazell was going to have a party were many rich people, were going to shoot many pheasants, so Danny said to his father that the favourite food of the pheasants were the raisins, so he said to him that if they put the raisins with the medicine of the leg of his father ,the pheasants would sleep and they would capture them, before the party, so when Mr. hazell were going to shoot a pheasant he could not do. he made the plan and he capture 120 pheasants, so his father and the doctor called him the champion of the world.

new words:
pheasants: noun. Any of numerous large, usually long-tailed, Old World gallinaceous birds. Pg 30
poaching: noun. the illegal practice of trespassing on another's property to hunt or steal game without the landowner's permission.Pg 28
flabbergast: verb.to overcome with surprise and bewilderment; astound.Pg 78
knitting: noun. the act of a person or thing that knits. Pg 121
swivel:a fastening device that allows the thing fastened to turn around freely upon it, especially to turn in a full circle. Pg 133
added by isabel.arguelles | editchildren literature books
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roald Dahlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for the whole family

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When I was four months old, my mother died suddenly and my father was left to look after me all by himself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Life couldn't be better for Danny - a gypsy caravan for a home, a garage where he could work on cars all day, and a best friend who never ran out of surprises and inventions: his father. But Dad has one surprise that catches Danny completely off-guard, a secret passion that he's hidden for years. Now the secret's out and Danny's off on an adventure that will make him a legend in his own time.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142410330, Paperback)

"My father, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvelous and exciting father any boy ever had." Danny feels very lucky. He adores his life with his father, living in a gypsy caravan, listening to his stories, tending their gas station, puttering around the workshop, and occasionally taking off to fly home-built gas balloons and kites. His father has raised him on his own, ever since Danny's mother died when he was four months old. Life is peaceful and wonderful... until he turns 9 and discovers his father's one vice. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world. Danny is right up to Roald Dahl's impishly brilliant standards. An intense and beautiful father-son relationship is balanced with sublegal high jinks that will have even the most rigid law-abider rooting them on. Dahl's inimitable way with words leaves the reader simultaneously satisfied and itching for more. (Ages 9 to 13) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:42 -0400)

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A young English boy describes his relationship with his father and the special adventure they share together.

(summary from another edition)

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