In an essay for the Times, G.P. Taylor (Shadowmancer, Wormwood) takes on adults who bring their prejudices to books written for children. The British author and parish priest says of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
"Here was Dahl, sticking two fingers to every librarian and liberal with irreverent, non-PC antics of fat kids, beastly bullies and gruesome trials for all the villains. Oompa-Loompas paid with beans and kept from society in a secret factory caused such a stir in their original, African pygmy form as to cause outrage among the socially conscious literati."
The El Paso Times reports that some people recommend Taylor's Shadowmancer as a Christian alternative to Harry Potter. (Actually that sounds like a publisher's talking point to me, but whatever.) In an interview with NPR last year, Taylor characterized the allegorical book as "a secular novel about faith."
Meanwhile in Taylor's neck of the woods, the Times critic Amanda Craig chats with Dahl's widow, Liccy, who says that her husband "said that in writing for children you had to grasp them by the neck in the first sentence. He had a perfect simplicity in the construction of each sentence which is what made him so readable.”