Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last!
But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
and its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
, along with Roald Dahl's other tales for younger readers, make him a true star of children's literature. Dahl seems to know just how far to go with his oddball fantasies; in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
for example, nasty Violet Beauregarde blows up into a blueberry from sneaking forbidden chewing gum, and bratty Augustus Gloop is carried away on the river of chocolate he wouldn't resist. In fact, all manner of disasters can happen to the most obnoxiously deserving of children because Dahl portrays each incident with such resourcefulness and humor.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a singular delight, crammed with mad fantasy, childhood justice and revenge, and as much candy as you can eat. The book is also available in Spanish (Charlie y la Fabrica de Chocolate). (The suggested age range for this book is 9-12, but nobody this reviewer has met can resist it, including New York City bellhops, flight attendants, and grumpy teenagers.)