Matilda, India’s most popular Roald Dahl character: Crossword poll

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) The nerdy, strong Matilda Wormwood seems to be the most favourite Roald Dahl character for Indian readers, according to a poll conducted by Crossword Bookstores.

As the world celebrates the birth centenary of celebrated author Dahl on Tuesday, Matilda won hands down, garnering over 30 per cent votes pushing Charlie of the “Chocolate Factory” to the second place.

Matilda is the main protagonist of Dahl’s popular children’s book, Matilda, which was also made into a movie in 1996.

According to Crossword, 1,200 children among age group of 8-13 years were polled over four weeks across the country.

The children were given the options of Dahl’s popular characters such as “Danny the Champion of the World”, Matilda, Charlie from the Chocolate Factory, James of the Giant Peach, The Twits and BFG.

“We know that Matilda is the most successful Dahl character in India from book sales. However, we decided to ask kids to vote for their favourite character. For instance, Charlie is a very neutral character and that’s key to the book being so good. Like Oliver Twist, Charlie is a blank canvas while other characters like, Willy Wonka, Mr Fox, the BFG are colourful, well-described creations and you love them,” said Kinjal Shah, CEO Crossword Bookstores.

Charlie came second at 25 per cent, followed by equal votes for Danny, James and BFG. The Twits was the last in the poll.

“Matilda is the perfect heroine, nerdy and small, but ultimately brave and strong. Matilda taught readers that intelligence was power, and the film instilled a lifelong ability to spell ‘Mississippi’ without hesitation,” said Shah.

“People do love strong characters and this is one of the strongest characters written by him,” he added.

Being a children’s poll, dark books such as George’s Marvellous Medicine were kept out of the poll.

Over 200 million copies of books by Dahl have been sold worldwide, with his wonderful world full of charming characters that have been enjoyed by adults and children alike .

To commemorate Dahl’s 100th birth year, selected Crossword Bookstores across the country will be hosting clue hunts, dream hunts and treasure hunts, according to a statement from the stores.

–IANS

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