This book hold a very special place in my heart. I remember this being the very first Roald Dahl book I ever picked up, intrigued by the idea of giants and most importantly the friendly one who gave children dreams.
For those of you who have never read this book, BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant. It is the name of the giant on the cover, and the little girl in his hand is Sophie. She is an orphan who lives in an all girl orphanage run by a cantankerous old woman called Mrs. Clonkers. We do not like Mrs. Clonkers. One night, Sophie sees the BFG blowing something that looks like a horn into the bedrooms of children. By the end of the night, the BFG has taken Sophie to Giant Country. There we learn that because BFG is in fact big and friendly, all the other giants (who eat humans, mainly children and steal food from humans) make fun of him. He is reduced to living in a cave and eating disgusting vegetables called snozzcumbers. Sophie and BFG quickly become friends, but a bad giant called Bloodbottler suspects BFG of hiding Sophie and tries to find and eat her. Sophie hides in a snozzcumber and BFG offers the very same snozzcumber to Bloodbottler hoping the nasty taste will scare him away. Luckily he spits out the nasty vegetable, and Sophie with it, and flees the cave. The next morning BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country where he gets the dreams he gives to children. There, however, surrounded by all the other giants, he is teased mercilessly. None tease him more than Fleshlumpeater, the leader of the giants. After seeing how BFG is teased by the other giants, and learning what they do to people, she convinces her new friend to talk to the Queen in order to get all the other giants locked away. In the end, thanks to BFG’s dream catching skills Sophie and BFG sit down with the queen and she agrees to help. With other countries behind them and the Royal Guard and British Army lending a hand, BFG and Sophie take them to Giant Country and they capture all the giants but Fleshlumpeater. Sophie and BFG have to trick him into turning himself in and all the giants are locked away in a pit. A castle is built for BFG to live in and a small house next door for Sophie. Many countries send them gifts for many years, as thanks for ridding them of the giants. The BFG sits down to write a story of his and Sophie’s adventures and we find out it is the very same book we’ve just read.
There is something wonderfully fanciful about this book. I wish I could tell you what made me fall in love with it first, but I can’t say I remember now. All I do know is, every time I read this book, my heart smiles. I remember the fear I felt when Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater first appeared. I remember the wonder I felt when I watched with Sophie as the BFG blew dreams into children’s minds. I remember my heart warming as I learned what a kind soul BFG had. Perhaps it was all of these things, or perhaps it was the happiness I felt as these two outcasts found each other. I honestly do not know. What I do know is that all of these feelings I felt the first time I read this book, I feel again every time I read it. I know how it ends, but I still hold my breath when they try to trick Fleshlumpeater. I know Sophie will be alright, but my heart still beats a little faster when Bloodbottler bites the snozzcumber. I know that BFG is happy in the end, but my heart still breaks for him when the other giants are cruel to him. That is why The BFG is one of my absolute favorite children’s books. It’s a story I never grow out of.