Snozzwanglers to teach kids a lesson

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The Independent Online
The Roald Dahl factory is working on overtime. Six years after the death of the popular writer of dark, subversive children's tales, a new omnibus of his published work - with some tantalising, never-seen- before additions - is to be issued in time for Christmas.

It is six years since Roald Dahl died of leukaemia, and in the past 18 months there has been a rash of activity, including films and museum displays. Now, aware of the constant appetite for Dahl's work, Jonathan Cape is publishing the Roald Dahl Treasury, containing short stories, extracts from favourite works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and all manner of the vermicious knids, snozzwanglers, BFGs and witches for which Dahl's work is renowned. There will also be previously unpublished material, including poems and letters, and new drawings by Quentin Blake, Dahl's principal illustrator.

The book's publication will be marked at Sotheby's in London on 24 September with a charity auction on behalf of the Roald Dahl Foundation. Some of the book's original artwork will be sold along with some of Dahl's personal effects to raise money for the foundation which provides grants for neurology, haematology and literacy projects.

Publication of the Treasury follows the release of two films based on Dahl works: Disney's version of James And The Giant Peach, and Matilda, produced by Danny DeVito. Meanwhile in Buckinghamshire, The Roald Dahl Children's Gallery has been opened - with the help of a pounds 250,000 National Lottery grant - introducing children to natural history, science and technology through his characters.

Sue Broughton, of the Library Association and a former children's librarian, says Dahl's books are popular with children because he combines a dark humour with playground mentality.

"I think one of the reasons Roald Dahl is so popular with children is because he breaks the rules. He talks about spit and snot, and the people in his books are not perfect," she said.