13 inspiring Roald Dahl quotes

Known as one of the world’s best storytellers, it’s no surprise that Roald Dahl has produced quite a number of inspiring quotes. So, we’ve collated our favourite wise words from the giganticus author to inspire you.

Puffin team
An illustration by Quentin Blake of the characters from James and the Giant Peach

1. Great things often start off small.

‘A little magic can take you a long way.’ – James and the Giant Peach

2. Try to be optimistic even when things look hopeless.

‘But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.’ – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

3. There’s value in doing things that scare you.

‘I will not pretend I wasn't petrified. I was. But mixed in with the awful fear was a glorious feeling of excitement. Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn't be exciting if they didn't.’ Danny the Champion of the World

4. Don’t forget to believe in yourself.

‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’ – Matilda

An illustration by Quentin Blake of Matilda reading a newspaper

5. Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty.

'A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.' – The Twits

6. Always try to give 100%.

‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...’ – Matilda

7. Take constructive criticism like a champ.

‘I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice.’ – Fantastic Mr Fox

8. Let go of things you can’t control.

‘You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that.’ Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

An illustration by Quentin Blake of the characters from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

9. Be open to new opportunities and discoveries.

‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.’ – Billy and The Minpins

10. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

‘"Meanings is not important," said the BFG. "I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right."’ – The BFG

11. You don’t need to change to be loved.

‘“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”’ – The Witches

12. Always dare to dream.

‘Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything? Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.’ – James and the Giant Peach

An illustration by Quentin Blake of the characters from The Witches

13. Power is a gift, do not abuse it.

‘Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.’ – Roald Dahl

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What do you think of these quotes? Is there anything you’d like to see more of on the website? Send any suggestions to: childrenseditor@penguin.co.uk

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