cover image The Vicar of Nibbleswicke

The Vicar of Nibbleswicke

Roald Dahl. Viking Children's Books, $12.5 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84384-8

Imagine what would happen if a nervous young parson were re-afflicted with a peculiar strain of his childhood dyslexia, so that he unknowingly pronounced backwards only the most significant word in every sentence. In the fiendish hands of Roald Dahl, the parishioners must not only suffer the offense of praising Dog, but when the unsuspecting vicar attempts to compliment a group of little old ladies on the fact that each of them knits , his actual words incite chaos. Written for the benefit of the Dyslexia Institute in London, this slight book employs a host of jocular (though sometimes vulgar) malaprops to accentuate the beleaguered parson's condition. Blake's daffy illustrations have long captured the outrageous humor of Dahl's text, and this collaboration proves no exception. Of special interest is the illustrator's touching tribute at the end of the book, both to the late author's talent and to his ``passionate belief in the importance of reading,'' which inspired this, his last book. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)