This week’s theme:
Mysterious People: Roald Dahl
Fact of the day:
Roald Dahl’s book ‘The Twits’ was first published in 1980. It tells the tale of a pair of horrible twits and the tricks they like to play on each other.
Paper, card, beard decorations; Tea towel, wooden spoon, fork, spoon; Youtube.
The first sentence of the story is, “What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays!” this is referring to Mr Twit, who is a hairy-faced man, with a large wild beard and hair growing out of his nose and ears. Mr. Twit has a beard because he believes it makes him wise and grand, but he is actually only a twit who has not washed his beard in years. Mr Twit’s uncleaned beard is very dirty and it collects bits of sardines and cornflakes, and mould. Because of this, Mr. Twit is never hungry; “By sticking out his tongue and curling it sideways to explore the hairy jungle around his mouth, he was always able to find a tasty morsel here and there to nibble on.”
Make yourself a Mr Twit beard to wear! You could make beard hair from curled paper, wool, tissue paper, or by colouring-in. What food will be hidden in your beard that you’ve saved to eat later? Some beard ideas can be found here, here, here, or here. If you make a beard, send us a photo of you wearing it! You can share it on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it online for you!
The Twits are always playing tricks on each other. For example, Mr. Twit puts a frog in Mrs. Twit’s bed, and convinces her she is shrinking by adding height to her walking stick, while Mrs. Twit serves Mr. Twit spaghetti full of worms, only telling him about the worms afterwards.
Muggle-wump is a character in The Twits, he is a monkey and he and his family have been imprisoned by the horrible Mr and Mrs Twit and forced to stand on their heads all day as part of Mr Twit’s ‘Great Upside Down Monkey Circus’ training.
Muggle-wump is from Africa; listen to some of these sounds made by an African instrument, the Djembe drum and try and beat along, perhaps patting your palms on your thighs, a table, or a bucket, or a tub, or by tapping a pen on a table, or clapping or stomping your feet. You could then try some body percussion to try out some beats of your own here. You could even try out an African dance lesson!
Each week, Mr. Twit covers the Big Dead tree with Hughtight Sticky Glue to capture birds for Bird Pie. The birds are always warned by Muggle-Wump and his African monkey family not to land on the tree, but the birds do not speak African and cannot understand them. One day, a Roly-Poly Bird from Africa vacationing in England meets the monkeys in their cage. They warn Roly-Poly about the tree, and Roly-Poly communicates this to the local birds, keeping them safe.
There are an estimated 1500-2000 African languages but Swahili is the most spoken language in Africa, with over 100 million speakers. Maybe the Roly-Poly bird spoke Swahili. Practice saying the following words in Swahili: ‘Sasa’ (Hi), ‘Jambo’ (Hello), ‘Kwa Heri’ (Goodbye), ‘Tutaonana’ (See You Later), ‘Ahsante’ (Thank You), ‘Tafadhali’ (Please), ‘Sawa’ (OK). You can hear them being pronounced here.