The Twits by Roald Dahl

Interest Level: Grades 3 – 5
Reading Level: Grade level Equivalent: 5.2

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it looks so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.” – The Twits

Such are the Twits. They are the ugliest, hairiest, smelliest, meanest couple on earth. Their only joy is playing mean tricks on each other, making their monkeys stand on their heads, and catching birds for their weekly bird pie. Muggle-wump the monkey dad has had enough. He and Roly-poly bird, his African language translator, have a plan to save the birds from the pie and get back at the Twits. When the monkeys and birds are through, the Twits will be completely upside down.

Although a longer book, I would think that this book would have a lower reading level than it was given compared to the Magic Finger. The Magic Finger dealt with killing a bird’s children. The Twits are just silly. Rolly Polly the bird and Muggle-wump the monkey are childish names. The pranks the Twits pull on each other are not harmful to each other; they just make the other mad. My favorite was when she put her glass eyeball in his beer. I once had a teacher who would leave the room for a smoking break. He would take out his glass eye and leave it on his desk saying, “I have my eye on you.” Maybe glass eyes and beer are the reason for the higher rating. I would think this book is fine for a younger crowd, say, 8 or older.

Dahl, R., & Blake, Q. (1981). The twits. New York, New York: Knopf.