Welcome to week 5 of our Make Stories Like Roald Dahl summer challenge. This week is all about nosing about with nature, just like Roald Dahl!
Roald Dahl spent a lot of time enjoying the countryside near his home in Great Missenden. He loved watching the world around him so much that he wrote a book called My Year, where he shared what he noticed during every month of the year. For August, he wrote “There is a brownish look to the countryside and the leaves are hanging heavy on the trees.”
Roald especially loved to walk in the woods and he used this as a setting for several of his stories, such as Billy and the Minpins. Spending time in this spot helped him to describe the trees as young Billy enters the forest for the first time: "Giant trees were soon surrounding him on all sides and their branches made an almost solid roof above his head, blotting out the sky. Here and there little shafts on sunlight shone through gaps in the roof. There was not a sound anywhere."
The natural world was so important to Roald Dahl that he kept lots of fossils, rocks and other natural objects in his Writing Hut. He even had a birthday card made from flower petals by his daughter Lucy on the wall. He only had to look out of the Hut’s window to see the countryside while he was writing books such as Fantastic Mr Fox – sometimes, he could glimpse a real fox as he was writing!
Make sure that you take care with what you touch and pick up for this week’s challenge. Get a grown-up to check it’s safe and that it doesn’t belong to someone else! Remember to wash your hands afterwards too.
Does your art give you an idea? Or can you describe it?
You should now have some natural art! Does it give you an idea for a story? Write it, draw it, act it out or just tell us about it using #MakeStoriesLikeRoaldDahl.
With Michael from the Museum's Front of House team.