Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Re­viewed by Clau­dia Elei­box

Roald Dahl’s chil­dren’s sto­ries, orig­i­nally all ded­i­cated to his chil­dren, made their way into the homes and hearts of chil­dren all over the world. As the creator of iconic ti­tles like Matilda and James and the Gi­ant Peach, Roald Dahl earned his space on the roll call of fa­mous chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture au­thors.

As any­one who has seen one of the film adap­ta­tions will know, Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory is about young and im­pov­er­ished Char­lie’s ex­cit­ing visit to the most mys­te­ri­ous choco­late fac­tory in the world. It is owned by the charis­matic choco­latier Mr. Willy Wonka whom no-one has seen for many years.

One day an un­ex­pected an­nounce­ment is made that sends global sales sky-high: golden tickets have been placed in five of Wonka’s choco­late bars en­ti­tling the finder, and an es­cort, adms­sion to the fac­tory. Char­lie’s fam­ily can­not af­ford to buy much but he is treated to a choco­late bar and, on the eve of the big day, when all hope is al­ready lost, he is ec­static to dis­cover the one re­main­ing ticket in his hands. Char­lie’s beloved grand­fa­ther agrees to ac­com­pany him and off they set, in awe and won­der.

The visit turns out to be noth­ing short of amaz­ing as the chil­dren and ac­com­pa­ny­ing adults ob­serve some of Mr. Wonka’s candy-mak­ing pro­cesses. They travel through choco­late rivers in a boat carved out of boiled sweets; they taste blades of grass and learn how the best whipped cream is made - with whips. They see how squir­rels ex­tract whole wal­nuts from the shell and, im­por­tantly, they meet the Oompa-Loom­pas, the tiny work­ers in the choco­late fac­tory. The Oompa-Loom­pas test Mr. Wonka’s in­ven­tions and carry out all the es­sen­tial pro­cesses for the cre­ation of the world’s finest choco­late.

As the tour of the fac­tory pro­gresses, one by one the chil­dren are es­corted out af­ter be­hav­ing badly (and, for the reader, suf­fer­ing hi­lar­i­ous con­se­quences) until Char­lie is the only one left. It is then that Mr. Wonka re­veals the en­tire af­fair was a method to choose a wor­thy heir to run the choco­late fac­tory. Char­lie, be­ing the best be­haved and last­ing the long­est has won!

Mr. Wonka flies Char­lie and his grand­fa­ther through town in a glass el­e­va­tor to col­lect the rest of the fam­ily. They are all al­lowed to live in the fac­tory, putting a swift end to their fi­nan­cial woes.

This book is a heart­warm­ing classic and doesn’t have to be lim­ited to kids. The story is filled with imag­i­na­tive adventure and teaches that chil­dren are re­warded for their good be­hav­iour. Also Willy Wonka’s char­ac­ter shows that any­thing is pos­si­ble with the right willpower: “You mustn’t de­spair!” cried Mr. Wonka, “Noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble! You watch!”

Come buy your spe­cial edi­tion at The bookYard, and see if it has an elu­sive golden ticket in­side!

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