Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
For ages 6 to 12
Random House, 2004   ISBN: 978-0375831973

Charlie Bucket has had a lot of love in his life but not a great deal of the other things that make life comfortable. His home is small, ramshackle and drafty, food is scarce, and clothing is a little thin. In fact the family is so poor that Charlie’s four grandparents have to share one bed.  Charlie’s mother and father work very hard to provide for their family but it is an uphill struggle and there are few luxuries in Charlie’s life.

Things become interesting in Charlie’s town when the famous owner of a local chocolate and sweet factory, Mr. Willy Wonka, announces that five of his delicious chocolate bars will contain a special gold ticket which will enable the ticket holder to enter Willy Wonka’s famous factory, an establishment which has always been closed to the public, its secrets carefully guarded.

Charlie cannot imagine anything more wonderful than being able to go into the marvellous smelling factory for a personal tour and like thousands of children all over the world he wishes he could be the one to win one of the coveted golden tickets. But, unlike many of them, he cannot afford to buy any chocolate bars. Then Charlie finds a windfall, a “whole dollar” and with it he buys two chocolate bars and in the second Charlie finds…a golden ticket!

Before he quite knows what is happening Charlie, accompanied by Grampa Joe, beings the adventure of a lifetime. With four other children and their parents Charlie and Grandpa Joe get to see many of Willy Wonka’s extraordinary candy making secrets. Most extraordinary of all is the famous Willy Wonka himself. Somewhere behind those twinkling little eyes lies the biggest secret of all. Will Charlie be the one to find out what it is?

This beautifully presented 40th anniversary edition of Roald Dahl’s classic story is a real treasure for any child’s book shelf. Full of full color versions of Quentin Blake’s art it is perfect for reading out loud and also for young readers to read for themselves. This is a book which has stood the test of time for many years and promises to do so for many years to come.