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Photos: Roald Dahl stamps

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  1. Roald Dahl stamps

    The U.K. Royal Mail has issued a special set of stamps, commemorating six of Roald Dahl's most beloved stories. More than 20 years after his death, Dahl's books continue to grow in popularity and have been translated into more than 40 languages.

    Illustrations by Quentin Blake are featured on the stamp set, including Blake rendering the book titles (here, "James and the Giant Peach") in his own handwriting. (royalmail.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 'Matilda'

    Published in 1988, "Matilda" is one of Dahl's most popular books. It has recently been made into a musical, which is now playing in London. (royalmail.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'The Witches'

    The award-winning story "The Witches," first published in 1983, is about a boy who overhears a witch's plan to get rid of all the children in England. (royalmail.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

    "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" may be Dahl's best-known book, thanks to several movies based on it. Here, Charlie holds the golden ticket that gains him entry into a most unusual chocolate factory. (royalmail.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 'The Twits'

    First published in 1980, "The Twits" features a horribly nasty couple and the animals that get revenge on them. The book has also been made into a play. (The Royal Mail) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'

    "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is about a fox who needs to steal food from nasty farmers to feed his family. In 2009, it was made into an animated film. (The Royal Mail) Back to slideshow navigation
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By
TODAY books
updated 2/14/2012 4:04:29 PM ET 2012-02-14T21:04:29

If you aren't already a stamp collector, new Roald Dahl stamps issued by the U.K. Royal Mail may turn you into one. It launched the series commemorating some of the famous author's most beloved stories last month, exciting both philatelists and fans alike.

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Of course, the legendary “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is immortalized in the set, with an illustration of Charlie Bucket holding the lucky golden ticket that gained him entry to the factory gracing the 42-pence (approximately 72 cents U.S.) first class stamp. Other stamps feature “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Twits,” and “The Witches.”

“The BFG” (for Big Friendly Giant) is the lone book singled out for its own set of four stamps to mark its 30th anniversary.

Slideshow: Roald Dahl stamps (on this page)

Just like Dahl's books, the stamps were illustrated by Quentin Blake. And whose image appears along with the legendary storybook characters? The queen, whose silhouette is on every U.K. stamp.

"I'm so excited that Royal Mail has honored my father, Roald Dahl, with these stamps,” said Dahl’s daughter, Ophelia Dahl. “My dad wrote thousands of letters home throughout his life and never dreamed that one day one of his own characters would grace a stamp. He'd be thrilled."

Sales have already outpaced the Royal Mail's expectations. Eager collectors — and there are plenty, judging by the buzz on blogs and Twitter — can already find dozens of the stamp sets for sale on eBay. Or they can be purchased directly from the Royal Mail website, where enthusiasts can also pick up other Dahl goodies like pins, framed stamps and pop-up books.

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Dahl was born in Wales in 1916, and wrote his first children’s book, “The Gremlins,” in 1943. He went on to write dozens more children’s books, as well as novels and non-fiction for adults, collections of short stories, film and television scripts, and a play.

Later this year, the Royal Mail will celebrate another famous British writer, Charles Dickens, on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive

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