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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 19:35 GMT
Roald Dahl web worth it
Roald Dahl website
David Gibbon investigates the official Roald Dahl website

While JK Rowling dominates children's literature today, it was not so long ago that a certain chap called Roald Dahl ruled the pages youngsters read.

Born in Wales in 1916, Roald created many hugely successful books during his illustrious career including the Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Enormous Crocodile and, of course, the book turned blockbuster movie James and the Giant Peach.

This is the official website of Roald Dahl, who has often been described as Britain's best-loved children's author.

Roald Dahl
Eight sections include a Dahl biography
It comes packed with information and trivia that will delight his legions of fans - including a specialised section for kids and for teachers.

It is easy to see from the opening screen that this has been created with the same meticulous attention to detail that both Roald and his illustrator Quentin Blake paid to all their best sellers.

As soon as the site appears on your PC monitor, you are treated to an excellent animated sequence that has been put together using one of Quentin's superb character realisations.

It uses the kind of font and background imagery that could easily have come straight from a Roald Dahl book.

The main menu screen features a circle of six Roald characters - all of which move while the site "waits" for you to select an option.

There are eight selections, which include a look back at Road Dahl's life, a history of his publications, details of his charity The Roald Dahl Foundation, a visitor's book, a section for Teachers, Treats for kids and you can even choose to be guided around the site by one of your favourite Roald Dahl characters.

On-screen bar

Before you actually go to a particular section, if you want to know more behind the option you just move the mouse pointer over it and a message appears top of the screen describing exactly what is on offer.

When you do select an option, a more than thoughtful on-screen bar appears which graphically shows you how long to go before the page you've selected will appear.

Although most websites do not offer this, that could be because most websites do not take quite as long to load up as this one does.

But, of course, most websites are not as animation-packed or as well designed as this gem.

Each option also brings up additional options. For example, going to the biography section you get to select from a biography, an interview with Roald and there's even a quiz to test your knowledge about the great man himself.

This feature packed, well written and graphically rich site is one of the best author websites on the net.

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