Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Roald Dahl
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
Fiction
For ages 8 and up
Penguin, 2002   ISBN: 978-0141301129

When we left Charlie Bucket in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" Charlie and his entire family, in the company of the very peculiar Mr Willy Wonka, were shooting up into the sky inside Mr Wonka's large Glass Elevator. Now we join them as their adventures continue out, out, out into space. Yes indeed, Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Mr and Mrs Bucket, and the other grandparents (who are still lying in their bed) are out in space. By accident the Glass Elevator ends up orbiting the Earth and soon its passengers see the new and as yet unoccupied Space Hotel floating up into view. Charlie and his family also see the Commuter Capsule which is carrying people to the Space Hotel.

Of course the passengers and crew on the Commuter Capsule also see the glass elevator and the people inside it. Not too surprisingly the astronauts think that Charlie and his companions are aliens. After all, no one from Earth could be out in space in a glass box. What follows is a completely ridiculous series of discussions between the astronauts on the Capsule, the President of the United States, and the incomparable Mr Willy Wonka.

Add to this bizarre situation the presence of utterly ruthless, and always hungry space creatures called Vermicious Knids and you have a classic and completely wonderful Roald Dahl story.

Children will be astonished at the way in which Charlie and companions save everyone on the Commuter Capsule from being eaten by the Vermicious Knids and will celebrate with the Buckets and all the grandparents when they finally arrive back in Willy Wonka's fabulous factory. Mind you, the adventures are not quite over yet. Dear me no, for Mr Wonka has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

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