Roald Dahl is undoubtedly one of the most influential children’s authors of all time. His signature books like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The BFG and Matilda made us fall in love with his works. If you love Dahl, here is a list of 10 books which you will love as well. They capture either the same style, irreverence or themes as his works, and, in fact, a few of them also feature intrepid kids versus evil adults, in a very Dahlesque manner.


You’re A Bad Man, Mr Gum!

Andy Stanton, David Tazzyman (Illustrator)

The first book in the Mr Gum series, You’re A Bad Man, Mr Gum! revolves around a nasty old man who hates kids, animals, and fun in general. A delightful cast of characters- an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub, Polly the little girl, Jake the dog, and an evil smelly butcher who is always covered in guts- makes the story ton of fun. It is a completely mad and hilarious novel with the eponymous Mr Gum as a villain who is always foiled by kids. The best part: the entire Mr Gum series is just as fun!

Buy it here.


The Six Spellmakers Of Dorabji Street

Shabnam Minwalla

Set in present-day Mumbai, The Six Spellmakers Of Dorabji Street is the tale of a young girl, Nivi Malik, who has recently moved to a cosy gully in Mumbai. She and her new friends start to play and hang out at the bimbli trees. Believing the kids to be a nuisance, two women start a campaign to cut down the bimbli trees hoping that it will discourage the children from hanging out. The kids now have to do everything in their power to save the trees, from asking their neighbours for help to creating practical magic spells that use everyday objects like ballpoint pens and mosquito bats. The Six Spellmakers Of Dorabji Street is an intriguing mix of fantasy and reality which features a group of kids who come together to stop adults, in a very Roald Dahl fashion.

Buy it here.


Once Upon An Alphabet

Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon An Alphabet is an unusual and wonderful book that provides you with a tour of all the letters from A to Z through a series of interconnected funny short stories. The book starts with the story of an Astronaut who is afraid of heights and a Cup that is stuck in a cupboard and longs for freedom. We meet Robots who are so afraid of getting rusty that they steal clouds from the sky and a Typewriter who can make stories come true but is eaten by the monster it wrote. Once Upon An Alphabet is a highly imaginative book that combines alphabet learning, quirky stories, and gorgeous artwork.

Buy it here.


Girls To The Rescue

Sowmya Rajendran, Ashok Rajagopalan (Illustrator)

If you are fed up with the kind of fairy tales and princess stories where the ultimate aim of the princess is to find the perfect prince, then you’ll love Girls To The Rescue. Reminiscent of Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, this book is a retelling of the old fairy tales of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and Snow White. While the stories have the same basic plot, the narratives and endings differ. In this book, the princesses not only dream big but also chase their destiny independent of ‘prince charming’. The best part of all the stories is their endings, which are much better than the typical ‘happily ever after’.

Buy it here.


Book Uncle And Me

Uma Krishnaswami, Priya Kuriyan (Illustrator)

Nine-year-old Yasmin has made a pact with herself that she will read a book a day for the rest of her life. She has already read 400 books at the beginning of the story. Book Uncle runs a library and always provides her and everyone else with the right book to read. After Book Uncle is forced to shut down the library, Yasmin decides to help him by asking for support from the public and finding patrons. Reminiscent of Matilda by Roald Dahl, Book Uncle And Me is the beautiful story of a young girl, her love for books and what she does to save them.

Buy it here.


Beastly Tales From Here And There

Vikram Seth

Another testament to Seth’s genius, Beastly Tales From Here And There is a collection of eight well-known animal fables and two originals, all written in verse. The book has two stories each from India, Greece, China, and Ukraine. The stories will put a smile on your face as you read about the crocodile and the monkey, the elephant and the tragopan, the cat and the cock, and many others. Although it’s a children’s book, it can be read by readers of all ages and reminds us of Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl.

Buy it here.


Beetle Boy

M. G. Leonard

Beetle Boy is the first book in the trilogy of the same name and introduces us to Darkus Cuttle, a boy whose father has mysteriously disappeared. Darkus has to live with his weird Uncle Max and finds out that his cousins have a serious beetle infestation. Soon, he discovers that the beetles are a super intelligent species and befriends one giant beetle, Baxter. He learns that the beetles are in danger of being exterminated by Lucretia Cutter, who wants to use the beetles to make jewellery and is also responsible for his father’s disappearance. Cuttle and his beetle friends join forces in this Dahlesque world to save not only the beetles but also his father.

Buy it here.


Horrid High

Payal Kapadia

Of all the books in this list, Kapadia’s Horrid High is probably the most similar to Dahl’s works. 11-year-old Ferg Gottin’s parents don’t want him anymore, so they look for a school where they can leave him and forget about him. From Master Mynus’ mental math class to Chef Greta’s cooking, the school is more horrid than he could have imagined. However, in spite of it all, he manages to make four friends with extraordinary skills. As they make startling discoveries about their school, they realise that they also have to find a way to survive it.

Buy it here.


Rover Saves Christmas

Roddy Doyle

Irreverent and funny, Rover Saves Christmas is the second book in The Rover Adventures trilogy but it can be read independently. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer calls in sick on Christmas Eve, the only day in the year that he has to work. In need of a substitute, Santa sends an elf to look for Rover- a smart, talented, and charming dog with everything that is needed to be a perfect sub, except that he is not a reindeer. Rover is also accompanied by the next door kids Jimmy and Robbie who not only help Rover save Christmas but also make it memorable.

Buy it here.


The Wolves In The Walls

Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)

Lucy is a young girl who is convinced that there are wolves in the walls as she hears noises coming from within them. Her parents disregard her fears until the night the wolves come out of the walls. Lucy’s family ends up having to live in the garden as the wolves take over their home. Now, it is up to Lucy to be brave and rescue her beloved pig puppet and reclaim their home. The Wolves In The Walls is a great read for kids and adults alike, filled with strange and wonderful illustrations.

Buy it here.

This list was curated by Parinita Shetty. You can read her pieces here.

Ankit loves stories, be it in any form- print, media or theatre. After reading Angels and Demons, he fell in love with books, especially suspense, thriller, and fantasy. He is a big fan of Harry Potter series. He quit his engineering career to become a writer and worked with The Curious Reader. Apart from writing he also loves filmmaking, photography, traveling and cooking. You can reach him on Instagram.