I’m doing some research for my Dahl site when I came across this list of Twenty Characters You Should Know. There were only a couple that I hadn’t heard of. Who are Hans Brinker, Mafatu, and Mr. Popper? Are they before/after my generation, or did I just somehow miss them?


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  1. Hans Brinker is before our generation. He was the title character of a children’s novel, I believe from the early part of the century. Roughly the same era as POLLYANNA, I reckon. Something to do with ice skating (I think the subtitle of the novel was “The Silver Skates”).

  2. Huh. Never knew that.

    Wait… the link is broken! Dude, you shoulda told me. I’ll fix it now.

  3. I thought you were referring to Roald Dahl characters when I initially read this post…and I was stumped – couldn’t believe that there were any Dahl characters I hadn’t heard of…once I read the link, suddenly all became clear. Except I haven’t heard of Nans Brinker, Mafatu or Mr. Popper either.

  4. I bet I can stump you with a Dahl character! Have you heard of “Labon”? He’s the main character in a very rare Dahl story I managed to find not long ago called “The Upsidedown Mice.” You can read it here.

    Ma Snookums e-mailed me and – being as she’s a librarian – she’s heard of all of them except for Mafatu. Which makes me think that he doesn’t deserve a spot on the list. They should replace him with Harry Potter.

  5. Fantastic! I hadn’t read that story before. It reminds me of The Twits – furniture on the ceiling and all that. Oh, and thanks for the link 🙂

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