Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl, loved by Jane Wilson
Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
If ever a story was written to be read out loud, this is the one. The tale of a little boy so poor that he and his family have to eat cabbage soup every day, who then goes on to win something that every child in the world is dreaming about, is as old as time in its concept. The good outwits the bad but it’s the journey along the way that makes this book so magical. We meet Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe as we travel with them on their journey through Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. We also meet four other children who are not very nice and in Dahl’s own inimitable fashion they get their comeuppance in the most delightful of ways. The moral of the tale is easily understood by young children and the language used is simple yet all the characters are so well drawn that they can easily be imagined by the mind’s eye. There is much laughter to be had along the way and whilst Dahl may not fare well in a place of political correctness, there is no doubt that his ability to tickle the funny bone is unmatched.
“Dear friends, we surely all agree
There’s almost nothing worse to see
Than some repulsive little bum
Who’s always chewing chewing-gum
(It’s very near as bad as those
Who sit around and pick the nose)
So please believe us when we say
That chewing gum will never pay”
Willy Wonka is a multi-dimensional character, often scarily so, whose methods may be open to question but who never fails to amuse. Square sweets that look round, Oompa-Loompas, hornswagglers, wicked whangdoodles and snozzwangers. Exploding sweets, magic hand fudge, cavity filling caramels and lickable wallpaper for nurseries. His seemingly endless capacity for odd words and outbursts of nonsense are as delightful for the young reader as the silly rhymes and the fates that befall the visitors to Mr Wonka’s factory.
The brilliance of Dahl is unsurpassed and in today’s world of instant gratification and constant visual imagery I’d like you to stop, turn off the TV, open this most marvelous of tales and begin to read. The most dangerous thing about this book is that bedtime is sure to overrun because you can’t resist the pleas for “just one more chapter”. As an adult you are sure to find this book darkly satisfying as good overcomes bad in the most splendid of ways and your children will be enthralled. Go ahead, treat yourselves; it’s magnificent.
Recommended for ages 6+