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Roald Dahl’s published works

Explore our timeline of Roald Dahl's books for adults and children.

Explore the timeline below:


1943 - The Gremlins

Roald Dahl's first children's book was about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore.


1946 - Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying

Ten terrifying tales of life as a wartime fighter pilot inspired by Roald Dahl's time during World War II.

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1948 - Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen

Roald's first adult novel, inspired by his time as a fighter pilot during World War II.

This is a darker take on his children’s book The Gremlins.


1953 - Someone Like You

A collection of short stories for adults with a darker and more sinister side.

Includes the short stories The Ratcatcher and Poison which have recently been adapted for the screen by Wes Anderson.

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1960 - Kiss Kiss

A collection of eleven short stories for adults.

The book features The Champion of the World which Dahl would later rework into the children’s book Danny the Champion of the World, published in 1975.

“Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn't be exciting if they didn't.”

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1961 - James and the Giant peach

One of Roald Dahl's best-loved books. A magical tale about a peach that doesn't stop growing.

Roald Dahl had the idea for the story after observing fruit growing on the trees in his garden in Great Missenden.

The first edition is illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, and later illustrated by Michael Simeon, Emma Chichester Clark, Lane Smith and Quentin Blake.

It was made into a feature-length film directed by Henry Selick in 1996.

“A little magic can take you a long way.”

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1964 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A story about 5 lucky children who win a Golden Ticket to a chocolate factory.

Originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s time at Repton School in Derbyshire. Roald said that local chocolate companies would send the boys sweets to taste-test.

The book has also been adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971 and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. A prequel called Wonka was released in 2023.

“I am the maker of music, the dreamer of dreams!”

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1966 - The Magic Finger

A children's book featuring an unnamed 8-year-old girl with magical powers.

Its working title was The Almost Ducks.


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1970 - Fantastic Mr Fox

A book about an incredible fox that takes on three local farmers.

Fantastic Mr Fox was inspired by the local Chiltern countryside close to where Roald Dahl lived.

It originally started life as a picture book for young children. The first draft text is in a hard back notebook, cut up by Roald and sellotaped in to form a ‘picture book’ with Roald’s rough line drawings above the text.

“Mr Fox used to live under the roots of this tree and he made a burrow all the way down this lane to the village, and then from there he would make tunnels going up into various shops of the village. ”

Roald Dahl

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1972 - Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator