“I don’t like small people,” she was saying.  “Small people should never be seen by anybody.  They should be kept out of sight in boxes like hairpins and buttons.  I cannot for the light of me see why children have to take so long to grow up.  I think they do it on purpose.” The Weekly Test – Matilda, by Roald Dahl.

One of the most beautiful books ever written for children and the child in us all, Matilda was given to me by my dear friend Liz, from the Book Club I moderate.  Knowing the love for this movie with Dany De Vitto (awesome!!!), Liz decided to give it to me as a present.  I am enjoying every line of it.  Matilda is the story of a very smart girl, born in the wrong house and eager to read and know all the beautiful things there are outside her house.  Only 5 years old she is and already has the power to overcome the humiliation she suffers from her family.  She discovers the power of reading and a whole world is open right before her eyes!  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Animal Farm by George Orwell….A formidable list for any person!

I feel a little Matilda sometimes.  Born in a house full of bright people (all of us were very good students at school), I always felt kind of weird being the one that loved ballet, painting, reading.  I remember the books my parents used to buy us (I can’t recall if the books were mine or ours) and I read with such enthusiasm and passion, just trying to imagine all the wonderful world behind the stories.  They were beautiful books, full of images and characters I will never forget: El Gato con Botas (Puss in Boots), Blanca Nieves (Snow White), Pulgarcito (Thumbling), La Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood)…Then, I read an encyclopedic collection with First Steps, Gulliver Travels, Robinson Crusoe, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mujercitas (Little Women) and so on.  Books that enabled me to dream of a place where all these characters would be and be part of my life.  I can’t remember where this passion for reading came from, but I always remember my grandmother reading the paper in the dining room, or my mother reading her Vanidades or Buenhogar lying on her bed, or my father reading Playboy magazine or Mecánica Popular (Popular Mechanic) or my aunts Odette and Zelandia reading some romantic novel.  That must have left me the thing for reading.

As for Matilda, this wonderful story I’m having such a blast reading, I think I will finish this week.  Maybe by Friday…I had never read anything by Roald Dahl, although I had seen Matilda the movie, but I can tell you…this guy knew how to speak to children!  Wonderful job! 

 

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