Matilda is a whimsical, endearing treasure. If this book were a person it would be your best friend. The story is just simply lovable, as quirky and as comfortable as that old pair of slippers you love to lounge around the house in on Saturday mornings.
The story centers around a precocious little girl name Matilda. Though born to shallow, self-centered parents who could care less about her, Matilda quickly blossoms into a child genius. She teaches herself to read and knows how to do difficult math inside her head, all that before the age of five. When she finally goes off to school her abilities, along with her troubles, increase exponentially as she is pitted against one of the most formidable villains in all of literature, Ms. Trunchbull.
Combining the pathos of Attila the Hunn with the fieriness of a wolverine on locoweed, this school headmistress is a terror to child and teacher alike. Her disciplinary measures are just short of the level of a concentration camp and are so exaggeratedly horrific that they come off comical. And that is really the main course offered here, a great romping good time. Dahl is out to have fun and his clever prose and quick wit are on display on every page. This is a classic, pure and simple. No, it’s not on the level of a Dickens or Doesoyevsky, but as a children’s book this is one of the best ever written. If you pick up this tale be prepared for page-turning fun in one of the silliest and sweetest stories around.