There are many lessons to be gathered from Roald Dahl’s stories. His giant imagination and child-like acceptance of worlds that defy logic help us to digest very real lessons. Dahl may not be the best to reinforce stranger danger (if a giant or life-size bugs show up at your house, your children should NOT go with them), but one of the greatest lessons is that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
We visited with two librarian friends recently who had something specific to say about this lesson:
Christina Hudman, Oak Lawn Public Library
I would say the main message of The Big Friendly Giant is don’t always judge people on what they look like or how they appear, because you might make a friend out of the most unlikely person.
Star Kulp, Children’s Librarian at the Timber Glen Branch
The main message of The Big Friendly Giant is that not all scary-seeming things are scary, and with a little pluck and a little luck, you can get some big things done.
There’s definitely a theme here. Imagine young Sophie, gazing out the window as she did each day and suddenly finding a giant peering back at her. That’s scary. As she cautiously got to know him, though, she came to realize that he had an important job — to guard her dreams. He had no interest at all in eating her. He was a vegetarian, after all. She then summoned her bravery and followed her gut, and together they embarked on an unforgettable journey.
Fear exists for a reason. It keeps our guard up and warns us against potential danger. Sometimes, however, our fear prevents us from trying new things. These experiences in which we have to take a step into the unknown almost always prove to be the most rewarding.
As we talk about not judging a book by its cover, let’s examine the Giant’s appearance. He looks odd. Even if he wasn’t four times the size as a human, he’s got those ears! He’s not exactly approachable. To speak frankly, he just looks different than the rest of us. As a rule, we aren’t drawn to people who don’t share our similarities. We don’t even try to relate to them. We judge them before ever interacting with them.
What if we were the one that looked different? How would we want people to treat us? The BFG opens our hearts in a way that tells us we can’t always trust our eyes. Everything we teach about manners and kindness takes a backseat to our fear of the unknown, which is totally based on what we see. We instead listen to our inner voice that says, “They’re sick, they’re homeless, they’re different, they’re dangerous.”
Hopefully DCT’S Big Friendly Giant will remind us to at least give those we don’t know a fighting chance before we judge them. My kids like to say, “We’re all a little bit weirdo,” and I think that’s right. Own your weirdo and embrace it, and dare to understand and APPRECIATE what makes others different than you. Perhaps we’ll all be a little better off if we take a moment to celebrate what makes us all unique. Remember, too, to share your snozzcumbers and do your best to keep the bad dreams away.
Your last chance to see The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) at DCT for yourself is this weekend. Don’t miss your chance! Only four shows left so grab your tickets now at dct.org!
See the story that inspired the new Steven Spielberg movie coming out July of this year! Early reviews suggest it is a hit.