Literacy celebration highlights Roald Dahl’s works

Children attend Story Time at Regal Cinemas, hosted by Camana Bay. The stories are shown on the big screen, making it easy for kids to read along.

Camana Bay will be celebrating the 100th birthday of renowned children’s author Roald Dahl through September, which is designated Literacy Month.

In addition to featuring Dahl’s works and their adaptation to film, many other activities for families will be on offer.

Camana Bay will be screening the 1971 adaptation of Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring the late Gene Wilder, and other film adaptations of the author’s work, including “Matilda,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Witches” and “BFG (Big Friendly Giant)” – a 2016 Disney film – each week on Saturday.

Through Oct. 1, Camana Bay will also host special themed story times in celebration of the author at Books & Books and Regal Cinemas.

For Tawnie Farinez, who frequents story time at Camana Bay with her 4-month-old daughter Valentina, Dahl is a great choice and theme for Literacy Month.

“I like the focus on Roald Dahl because of the playfulness that’s involved with all of his stories, [and] that it speaks to both children and adults,” said Ms. Farinez. “It’s something that we can all be entertained by and also something that can spark [Valentina’s] imagination.”

In a related event, Bon Vivant will host one-hour cooking classes with a theme of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach” for children ages 4-12. The classes are on Sept. 17 and 24, and will include snacks, recipes, lessons and activities. Best of all, the children get to take home their creations.

Starting on Sept. 8, children ages 8-12 can take part in the “Revolting Rhymes” contest, based on Dahl’s poems. It is open to all primary and high school students, and prizes include Camana Bay gift cards, Books & Books certificates, and copies of Dahl’s “Revolting Rhymes.”

With every purchase of a Roald Dahl book at Books & Books throughout September, Camana Bay will make a donation to nonprofit LIFE (Literacy is for Everyone).

 Children read at Books & Books in Camana Bay.
Children read at Books & Books in Camana Bay.

For Kiahna Cassell, who was at Camana Bay’s regular story time on Tuesday with her husband Merritt and their year-old daughter, celebrating literacy is crucial.

“It’s a fundamental part of their upbringing and their youth and development. It’s important that we can hone in those skills at this age, and our daughter is only one,” said Ms. Cassell, who is visiting the island from the United States.

“For us, [story time] is really valuable because we’re a family that’s traveling and it’s great for our daughter to be exposed to these kind of events and activities that she wouldn’t typically have the opportunity to be a part of,” she added.

“Everyone needs to be literate, so to speak,” said Patrick Anderson, who attended story time with his 16-month-old son. “Readers are leaders.”

People are also encouraged to swap books at Camana Bay’s Reading Tree, inside the Visitors Centre, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Take a book from the tree and leave behind another book for someone else to read.

People are also encouraged to pose with the giant “Read” sculpture in Town Centre for a weekly chance to win a $25 Camana Bay certificate. To enter, the photo has to be shared on social media with hashtag #CamanaBay.

Story times

Dahl-inspired story times at Camana Bay are free and open to the public and will be held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Tuesdays, story time is hosted at Regal Cinemas for ages up to four, beginning at 11 a.m.; on Thursdays at Books & Books at 3 p.m. for ages up to three; and on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. for ages 2-7, also at Books & Books.

The movies at Regal Cinemas will be at 10 a.m. every Saturday; tickets are $5.

Cooking classes with Bon Vivant are $35 per person, per class, and require registration. To register call 623-2665.

For more information on Camana Bay’s Roald Dahl-inspired literacy festivities, visit