The joy of reading and writing may be second nature to many people, but to millions of others around the world, these are foreign skills that have never been learned.

Sept. 8 is International Literacy Day, and in the U.S., September is recognized as National Literacy Month. Coincidentally, it would have been author Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday on Sept. 13, which is being celebrated internationally as Roald Dahl Day. The award-winning novelist is well known for his fantastical short stories and books that have been translated into many languages and made into several films.

Camana Bay is swinging into high gear this month, partnering with Books & Books and LIFE (Literacy Is For Everyone) to offer a series of family-friendly events and community initiatives, all focused on the importance of literacy and the love of books. Almost every activity is a nod to Dahl’s wonderful contributions to the world.

Stories & Screen

Anyone who has attended Story Time at Books & Books will look forward to specially themed sessions at the book store on Thursdays and Saturdays, and at Regal Camana Bay on Tuesdays.

There will also be Roald Dahl movies playing on Saturdays at the cinema. Can you guess the names of all the films made? Check the answers at the end of this article.

All about the books

Pose by the giant book installation in the Town Centre and post your pictures on social media. It’s like old school meets new technology!

Make sure to stop by the Visitor Centre to pick up a book you haven’t yet read from The Reading Tree, and replace it with one of yours for others to enjoy. Maybe grab a snack from one of the Camana Bay restaurants or ice cream shops and read a story by the water. It’s the perfect setting for a date with a good book.

Giving & Receiving

Not everyone looks forward to going back to school, so perhaps entering the Roald Dahl Revolting Rhymes School Competition is a good way to channel that energy. The competition launches on Sept. 8 and entries are accepted through the end of the month.

Camana Bay will also be donating collections of Roald Dahl books to public primary and high schools, and anyone who buys a book by the author from Books & Books will be donating part proceeds to the LIFE initiative.

Wonka would approve

Was it just coincidence, or did Roald Dahl seem to focus on food and drink in his books? Chocolate and peaches anyone? It therefore just makes sense that there will be Dahl-ectable kids’ cooking classes at Bon Vivant on Sept. 17 and 24, with the aptly named George’s Marvelous Medicine Mixology Class near the end of the month. Check updates on the Camana Bay Facebook and website pages for the date.

Beyond all these highlighted features, there will be a kids’ activity sheet posted throughout the town’s restaurants, which are also expected to get in on the act with food and drink specials.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff on Sept. 13, 1916 and died on Nov. 23, 1990. He was a novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world’s bestselling authors.

Dahl’s first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as A Piece of Cake. This story about his wartime adventures, was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer. Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land because of low fuel.

His first children’s book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children’s stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humor and a surprise ending.

Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. His stories also brought him three Roald-Dahl-1-bwEdgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story The Landlady; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on Skin.

For more information on the author, see www.roalddahl.com.

Roald Dahl films: 36 Hours, The BFG (animated), The Witches, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny, the Champion of the World, Four Rooms, Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot