The BFG

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The BFG Book Poster Image
Silly classic is great read-aloud.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 28 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

As charming and mild as any classic fairytale.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sofie is a fun, well behaved heroine with a heart of gold.

Violence & Scariness

The giants eat children and bully the BFG.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's no more to be concerned about here than in your average fairy tale. Giants eat kids offstage and talk about how tasty they are, which might bother very sensitive kids. The made-up language, though, will be difficult for the lower end of the target age group to read themselves, so it works best as a read-aloud.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysoojin98 September 20, 2009

To the ungrateful people who run this website.

This is a very lovingly written book for practically all ages. It is a classic, a favorite for nearly every age, and yet you rating is the small empty 'Goo... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byJojano April 1, 2011

Definitely a fun read-aloud

I read this book to my kids when they were younger (probably 5 & 7 yrs) and we all enjoyed it. They loved that I gave the giant a silly low voice when... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bydolphindreamer April 9, 2008

I loved this book!

This is a fabulous book! Ronald Dahl has such a creative imagination. Its a great book for all ages and it will leave you happy and laughing till your sides hur...
Teen, 13 years old Written byWaluigi7 March 10, 2011

I LOVE THIS BOOK

I Love this book! I enjoy it, My favorite item in the book is "Snozzcumbers" which is a icky poo veggie that the bfg eats, Funny plot, Funny names, Th... Continue reading

What's the story?

One night when Sophie can't sleep, she goes to the window of her orphanage and sees a giant walking down the street, blowing something into the windows. When the giant sees her, he grabs her and takes her back to his desert cave home.

There he explains, in his strange and garbled English, that he was blowing dreams into the minds of children, and that the other giants who live in the desert -- and are twice his size -- eat children all over the world. He, though, is the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), and eats nothing but disgusting snozzcumbers. But when the other giants head to England to eat children, Sophie hatches a plan, involving dreams, the Queen of England, and the BFG, to stop them once and for all.

Is it any good?

Each of the late Roald Dahl's whoppsy-whiffling stories has some unique element that sets it apart, both from his other works and from those of anyone else. Here it's language -- sheer, unadulterated, silly playing with language. The BFG speaks most terrible wigglish -- after all, he has never been to school, and "sometimes is saying things a little squiggly." Everything he wants to say "is always getting squiff-squiddled around."

All of this babblement makes this a delightful read-aloud, both for the listener, and for the adult reader who can let go of inhibitions and have fun with the twitch-tickling wordplay. And, while your child is rolling on the floor, if you're not as quacky as a duckhound, if your head isn't full of frogsquinkers, buzzwangles, and bugwhiffles, then you'll soon understand why "upgoing bubbles is a catasterous disastrophe."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the made-up words the author uses.

  • Can you tell how he put them together? Parents may want to encourage kids to make up words of their own.

Book details

For kids who love pictures

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