When your granddaughter asks you to dress up as the Big Friendly Giant, you dress up as the Big Friendly Giant!

Every year in the classroom, as best as I can remember it, I’ve read three different books, all by Roald Dahl, aloud to my third grade students: The BFG, Mathilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Of course I read others as well, but those were my favorites.

And of those three, I enjoyed The BFG most of all.  Some folks have pointed out that my own height, somewhere around six feet, four inches, might have something to do with that, but that wasn’t the reason.  The reason was the voices; the story lends itself to using voices, and I love doing that.

My own height standing amongst third-graders?  Well, that was why I picked the BFG (the character, not the book) as who I wanted to be for character dress-up day each October.  A tan Henley shirt, a brown sweater vest (someday I’ll find a leather waistcoat), a pair of green khaki pants with the hems tucked up, and some old sandals were all I needed.  

One year I borrowed a black cloak, but didn’t really like it.  Cloaks are one of those costume items that need to be really, well, expensively-made to go over well.  The vast majority I’ve seen are too light-weight, looking more like a cape.  Giants wear heavy cloaks…everyone knows that.

Anyway, back to the BFG.

I’ve been out of the classroom for a few years now (hopefully I’ll be back next year), but I still love that story and read it every so often, just for the pleasure of it.  

A few months ago, my wife and I decided it was time for our granddaughters to meet the BFG.  The girls spend a few hours a week at our house, and we almost always have a time where we craft.  It might be something as simple as coloring, but it’s not uncommon for things to get a little messy with more involved projects.  My wife even likes—gasp–glitter.

So, there we were: My wife and our granddaughters were coloring, and I was reading.  It makes my heart happy to think back on the pleasure we all enjoyed during those times reading together, but, of course, the story eventually came to an end.

Or did it?

This week is Read Across America week, and a character dress-up day is part of the activities my older granddaughter’s school has planned.  You can only imagine the thrill I felt when she said she wanted to be Sophie, and asked me to be the BFG!  

She’s in a virtual setting right now, so she’s supposed to dress up for the online meeting.  She can also take pictures for the class to see.  Hmmm…pictures.  I’ve been wanting to learn some simple photo manipulation for a while now, and this was the perfect excuse to do so.

So, we got together, had a lot of fun taking some pictures, and I set out to learn a new thing.  I won’t go into the process, but the results are below. 

Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to do this with her class in person, but I’m happy we were able to make the memories this year. 

The first attempt
The second attempt

24 thoughts on “The BFG”

  1. I started reading the BGF to my 3rd graders this year! I love your post in so many ways, I had to stop in and say thank you for making my morning! I love Roald Dahl! My assistant had told me “this book is too high” for our students, so I had put the reading of it on hold. Your post inspires me to put the book back into play. Every student should have access to literary works of greatness. Thank you for this post, truly. It inspired me to be a better educator and never put my intuition and wants into the hands of another. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The BFG really is one of my favorite read-alouds for third graders! It probably too high for many of them to read alone, but that’s why we read it to them. {smile} I hope you get back into it with them and have a great rest of the year!


  2. oh love this – what a great grandparent you are!!! I love this and it gave me ideas to do with my grandson. I would love to learn how you did the computer work so will need to start exploring! Enjoy those grandkids and the woods BFG! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, thanks for reading and commenting. I used an iPad application (I think it’s available for Android as well) called SuperimposeX. It was fairly simple to use, and there are lots of tutorials on YouTube. Good luck, and have fun!


  3. Tim, I am in awe of this post for so many reasons! Your lovely story of your granddaughter makes me miss my own grandchildren. I love grandchildren stories, especially if books and stories are involved. But, mostly, I’m desperately wanting to now learn how you did this photo manipulation thing! Now, you need to make a YouTube video to teach me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shari, I’m glad you liked it! I’m sorry you’re missing your grandchildren and I hope you’re able to see them again soon.. The photo manipulation was done with an iPad app called SuperimposeX. It’s fairly easy to use, and I’m happy to say that there are already plenty of solid tutorials on YouTube! My only advice that the video doesn’t cover is to take photos for the purpose of doing the merging. Make sure the lighting is consistent in direction and strength (this is sort of a do-as-I-say kind of thing). Have fun, and I hope someday to see your projects!


  4. This is MARVELOUS! I love all things Dahl and love love love that you brought this particular magic alive with your granddaughter. And kudos to you for learning new skills! This pandemic has pushed us all to learn new things. I think I hear Spielberg calling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, thank you! Dahl is one of my favorites for read-alouds, and (as I said), the BFG is my favorite work. It was fun to learn how to do the photo manipulation, but if Spielberg is calling, I’ve got a lot of work to do!


  5. Tim, you are the best in so many ways. Your granddaughters ares to blessed to have you, and your wife, as grandparents. The photo looks like you knew exactly what your were doing. This is a great Slice. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Donnetta! I could write all of my slices about my grandkids, but I’m not sure their mom would appreciate that! The photo thing was fun, and I’m looking forward to learning more.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is the BEST. And the BFG is such a wonderful thing for you to share with your granddaughter. There’s something so very charming about the way he interacts with Sophie, about the way they move through the world together. I’ve always loved it as a read-aloud. The words and language are such fun to play with. And these photos? PRICELESS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lainie! It really is a special book and I love your line about “the way they move through the world together.” That sums things up perfectly. The words and language really are a lot of fun!

      The photos were a lot of fun to make, and I look forward to doing more with that app.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is fantastic. I love the backdrop of third grade teacher times-gone-by mashing into your relationship with your granddaughter. You were MADE for this moment! The photoshop piece is icing on the cake and honestly, really great. I’ll bet she and her classmates had a ball with that. Which is a big deal in zoom class, I would think. Nice Slice Tim!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tim, I love the Roald Dahl stories that are your favorites! I am especially partial to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! But, my mom who taught third grade for about 25 years loved the BFG. I have her copy of it. What fun you had with the photo editing and wearing the costume…I hope you can have some fun with it again in person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, it really was a lot of fun to put on the costume again after a few years. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes in a close second to the BFG, and I tend to read it with a Gene Wilder twist to it, especially the poetry. Wonderful stories, and I’m glad you’ve got your mother’s copy of The BFG!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There is so much to love in this post! Roald Dahl books were definitely my favorite books to read aloud also. I love that your granddaughter asked you to dress up with her, and those pictures are fantastic! So much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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