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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory



Roald Dhal
is one of my favorite authors and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite Dhal book. I finished reading it to my nephew and niece a couple of days back. I think this is one book that they have enjoyed very much. Reading the book again after all these years was fun.

I recommend reading this book to your kids as it will transport them to the magical land of chocolate. But don’t forget to have a stock of chocolates and ice creams as reading the book will make them want to have either of them and it is too cruel to deny them of that pleasure!

This is the story of Charlie Bucket, a nice kid from a very poor family. He lives with his parents and paternal and maternal grandparents. They are so poor that they survive mainly on a few slices of bread and cabbage soup every day. But Charlie knows how to survive and he and his family survive with what they have and are happy. Charlie’s grandparents adore him and they tell him stories and most days the stories are about the big chocolate factory near their house and its eccentric owner Willy Wonka.

Willy Wonka was a wizard chocolate maker who had many inventions to his credit and his factory was the largest and best in the whole world. But his competitors started sending spies to the factory as workers and stole his secret recipes. Frustrated, Willy Wonka closed down the factory and sent home all the workers. After years of inactivity, one day the factory mysteriously comes to life. But the gates are locked as before. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the factory as nobody has seen any workers in the factory. Nobody has seen Willy Wonka either. But Wonka’s chocolates are available in the shops and there is smoke from the factory furnaces and sound of machines and delicious smell of chocolate that emanate from the factory.

One day Mr. Wonka surprises the world by announcing that he has hidden five golden tickets in five chocolate bars which have been distributed worldwide. Five children who find the tickets will be taken for a day-long tour of the factory and get lifetime supply of chocolate at the end of the tour. This announcement sends the whole world into a chocolate buying frenzy as people start buying chocolate bars by truckloads.

Charlie and four others—the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, spoiled Veruca Salt, gum-addicted Violet Beauregarde, and television-obsessed Mike Teavee—win the contest and go on the tour, led by Mr. Wonka. The rest of the story is their experiences at the chocolate factory. This is a marvelous book that will keep the young readers/listeners on the edge of their seats.

I saw the movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) along with the kids. They enjoyed it, but I found the book more interesting.

A MUST read for every kid.

Book Facts:-

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wa first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964, and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin in 1967. The book was adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005.

The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time Cadbury and Rowntree’s were England’s two largest chocolate makers, and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies into the other’s factory, posing as employees. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Roald Dahl to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.[1]

Roald Dahl suffered many attacks on his books by conservative literary critics, but one of the worst and most damaging skirmishes arose over the “Oompa–Loompas” in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “In the version first published, [the Oompa–Loompas were] a tribe of 3,000 amiable black pygmies who have been imported by Mr. Willy Wonka from ‘the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.’ Mr. Wonka keeps them in the factory, where they have replaced the sacked white workers. Wonka’s little slaves are delighted with their new circumstances, and particularly with their diet of chocolate. Before they lived on green caterpillars, beetles, eucalyptus leaves, ‘and the bark of the bong–bong tree.'” [2]

In order to avoid controversies Dahl changed the text and replaced some illustrations. In the revised edition, the Oompa–Loompas were changed as dwarfish hippies with long ‘golden–brown hair’ and ‘rosy–white’ skin who were imported from Loompaland.

[1] Bathroom Readers’ Institute, You’re My Inspiration, Uncle John’s Fast-Acting Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader, Bathroom Reader’s Press, 2005.
[2] Jeremy Treglown, J., Roald Dahl: A Biography, Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1994.

Book Details:

  • Author: Roald Dhal
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Year: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780142410318
  • Cover & Page Count: Paperback, 176 pages