Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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!