Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

I led a deprived childhood.

I readily acknowledge this.

Luckily, I get another chance with my children.

I just finished reading the delightful tale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud to my kids.  In case you didn’t know, this is the tale of Charlie Bucket, a boy who is exceedingly poor, lives in a shack with his mother, father, and both sets of grandparents right next to a chocolate factory, owned by Willy Wonka.

The factory has been closed to outsiders since Mr. Wonka discovered some were sneaking his secrets out.

One day, Mr. Wonka announces a contest for 5 children to tour his factory and learn his secrets.  These kids will be chosen by finding a Golden Ticket, which is the inside wrapping of his candy bars.

Naturally, this sparks an all-out buying frenzy, where every child wants to find these.

Charlie Bucket finds the last ticket.  He is whisked away for tons of crazy adventures as the other children inevitably succumb to their greedy desires.  Charlie is the last child standing and so is selected by Mr. Wonka to take over his factory when he is older.  He wants to train a child since a grownup “won’t listen to me; he won’t learn.  He will try to do things his own way and not mine.”  (So true, isn’t it?)

I loved the poem the Oompa-Loompas (the workers in the factory) sing about the evils of TV, how it “rots the senses in the head and kills imagination dead!” and how one should read books instead.  Ingenious!

This book had my kids laughing and begging to continue.  They loved the other kids falling to their doom and Charlie winning out in the end–simply by being good.

I loved the Grandparents who commented on every single kid who won the tickets based on the newspaper reports.  Grandma Josephine says one “needs a real good spanking” and calls another “beastly”.  The funny part is that this is the truth about these kids behavior and it is so refreshing to read before the advent of political correctness.

It’s easy to see why Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is an enduring classic that every child must read.  And finally I get to read it too!