Ever since my uncle bought me The BFG as a young girl, I've been a big fan of Roald Dahl. The man who was born just 5 minutes away from where I live, was a genius. For me, he wrote some of the most imaginative and magical stories around, and he created some of my favourite characters that even today as an adult, I love to escape with. The Witches, Charlie, Matilda, The Twits, James... I love spending time with them all.
While each of his books takes you on a wonderful journey beyond imagination, they are also jam-packed with a great deal of wisdom and life lessons, which are just as relevant to me today as they were to that mesmerised little girl I was when I first discovered them. Here's some of the things he taught me...
Be a good person
"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - The Twits
On self belief
"Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world." - Matilda
"It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as someone loves you" - The Witches
Be open minded
"The matter with human beans", The BFG went on, "is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles." - The BFG
Don't take yourself too seriously
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men." – Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (but also spoken by Gene Wilder in the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Love the little things
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - The Minpins
"Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy, it's unbelievable" - Matilda
Follow your dreams
"However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there." - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Illustrations by Quentin Blake from the original Roald Dahl books.