It’s been three decades since the brainbox title character of Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book Matilda first appeared on shelves the world over, and the Roald Dahl Story Company is not taking it lightly.
October marks 30 years since the masterpiece Matilda was first published, introducing the character, her nemesis Miss Trunchbull and her Miss champion Miss Honey to young readers across the world.
Matilda was the last major book published in Roald Dahl’s lifetime and was the recipient of the 1989 Children’s Book Award – voted for by kids throughout the UK. The book and its title character today hold a lasting legacy as one of the author’s best selling stories around the world, with 17 million copies in circulation.
Marking the 30th anniversary, Sir Quentin Blake, who illustrated the original book in 1988, has returned to create striking new images of Matilda, now aged 30, in a number of possible roles – including Astrophysicist, World Traveller and Chief Executive of the British Library. These three illustrations feature as covers of special celebratory editions of the book and will be released by Penguin Random House this week.
“I have had a lot of fun imagining what that little girl might be doing now she is all grown up. Since, as a small child, Matilda was gifted in several different ways it wasn’t difficult,” said Blake. “Illustrating Matilda was a wonderful experience. It has been very special to revisit her all these years later and marvel at the woman she would have become.”
2019 will showcase Matilda as the Roald Dahl Story Company’s Hero Title and the year will hold a host of new and exciting publishing, marketing, events and licensing activities.
There will be a focus around the Spirit of Crunchem Hall, and the camaraderie that Matilda and her classmates have against Miss Trunchbull with Back to Crunchem a key theme.
In celebration of the anniversary, a number of exciting new product launches are planned for this autumn, including a limited-edition Matilda Bath, Book and Bedtime gift set from Bloom and Blossom, as well as extensive gift lines from The Book People and Sainsbury’s, ahead of Christmas.