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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
Fans gather for Dahl celebration
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is credited with reviving the art of children's books
Fans of all ages are staging parties to celebrate what would have been the 90th birthday of writer Roald Dahl.

Exhibitions and children's reading campaigns are being held to commemorate the life of Dahl, who died in 1990 and has sold more than 100 million books.

A special train will take visitors from London to Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire where Dahl wrote in a hut at the bottom of the garden.

His daughter Lucy said: "He understood children and identified with them."

She added that he would have been "over the moon" about the day of celebrations in his honour.

"He never really celebrated himself in any huge way but he was always thrilled when people would celebrate him," said Ms Dahl.

'Children's choice'

Children's writer Anthony Horovitz said the recent renaissance in children's literature had begun with Dahl rather than JK Rowling, author of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter wizard sagas.

"Dahl was perhaps the first author to take the children's side and collude against the smelly, ugly, stupid creatures that inhabit the adult world," he said.

He challenged the idea of children's literature with darkly comic classics including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches.

Amanda Conquy, director of the Dahl literary estate, hailed Dahl as the first children's writer to achieve "pop star" status.

"He was very much the children's choice against their parents," she said.


SEE ALSO
Dahl story gets Scots treatment
08 Sep 06 |  Tayside and Central
Dahl illustrator in degree honour
12 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
Dahl museum up for 100,000 prize
10 Feb 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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