Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Twits by Roald Dahl

Title: The Twits
Author: Roald Dahl
Publication Date: 1980
Length: 96 pages

The Twits is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, who are such horrible people that they have become very ugly from all their bad thoughts. They capture birds once a week to make bird pie, and train monkeys to perform in an upside down circus. So the monkeys decide to pay the Twits back for their cruelty.

This was a truly delightful story. Just like Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book was a quick read that had me giggling throughout.

Since I can't help but read everything through a feminist lense, right away I was worried that this story was going to use tired tropes about ugly people always being the bad guys. But then I read this page:

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

That last bit really won me over. It makes it clear that it's not "ugly" features that make you ugly, but rather being a horrible person, like the Twits.

5 stars! Good for all ages!

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