matilda puffin

5 Things I loved About Matilda

Hello everyone, I’ve recently crawled out from under a rock, because I just read Matilda for the first time! Not only that, it’s my first Roald Dahl book. That fact is kind of sad, isn’t it? Anyway, I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the my next Dahl book.

5 Things I loved About MatildaMatilda by Roald Dahl
Published by Puffin on June 1st 1998
Genres: Children's Classic
Narrator: Kate Winslet
Length: 4 hours, 18 minutes
Format: Audiobook
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Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.


a clever girl, a horrid headmistress, and a bunch of tiny magical hands

5 Things I Loved About Matilda:

1. The simplicity. Books don’t have to be a million pages to be wonderful! This book was short, short, short, and it was entirely lovely. I think this is why I love children’s literature so much. They carry powerful messages in fun ways and they’re right to the point about it!

2. The Trunchbull. A wonderfully absurd (also abusive, which took me by surprise a bit at first) villain. I loved everything about her, and especially her title in the book: the Trunchbull.

3. Kate Winslet’s narration! It was completely wonderful! I would highly recommend the audiobook of Winslet narrating.

4. Matilda’s View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

5. The slight absurdity of it all. There were so many things in this book that could never actually happen, but it wasn’t in-your-face ridiculous. I guess you could say it had a touch of magical realism, and I think that nothing could be better for a children’s book.



Did you read Matilda as a child? What was your favorite part? What is your favorite Roald Dahl book?

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10 comments

  1. Okay, confession time: I’ve never read Matilda! I kept trying to read it over the summer, but every time I went to the library to check it out someone was already one step ahead of me and it was never available. Listening to the audio book is a great idea though– I’ll definitely have to check it out! 🙂

    1. Don’t worry – I hadn’t read it until now!! It’s never too late to start it 😀 It was such a fun book, even as an adult. I would definitely add it to your list – if for any reason because it’s a classic!

  2. I didn’t read it as a kid, but I remember desperately wanting to watch the movie like all my friends did. But my parents wouldn’t let me!!! They thought it was too violent. Something about throwing a kid out of a window? I don’t even know. Star Wars was okay, but for some reason Matilda was a no go. 😂 (I did finally watch it a couple years ago, but now I hardly remember it.)

    1. Hahah well actually, yes it is violent! When I was reading it I thought – holy crap this headmistress is straight up abusive to these kids! It’s done in a sort of comical way, but as an adult I didn’t find it very funny – only alarming! So i could see why a parent might not like it.

  3. I’m so sad that no one got this book into my hands when I was young! I discovered it quite late in life and I’m sure it would have been my favourite if I’d read it earlier!
    Great mini review <3

  4. YOUR FIRST ROALD DAHL? Oh my goodness! I loved Matilda when I was little (the movie, too) and also Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original movie is so much better). I have so many Puffins now and I really need to start rereading some of my childhood faves 🙂

    1. Right can you believe it’s my first? WHERE WAS MY CHILDHOOD?! You really do need to read them – esp those that you haven’t read. I bet you’ll love them!

  5. Well you are not alone!! I’ve never read Matilda or any of the other Dahl books!!
    But I watched time and again the movie, it was one of my favourites when I was a little kid!!