87 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Children's Book of All Time
Along with his other classic, "James and the Giant Peach", Roald Dalh's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" stands at the top of the heap when it comes to children's books. This is a pure classic of imagination, storytelling and magic. Far superior to the film (where Willy Wonka becomes the title character), the book tells the story from Charlie Bucket's point of view...
Published on April 8, 2002 by Jose R. Perez
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I liked this book very much. I think that if you like chocolate you will be amazed about how much chocolate there is in this book. I recommend this book to the 1ST-6TH graders, and
Published on February 10, 2006
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87 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Children's Book of All Time,
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Along with his other classic, "James and the Giant Peach", Roald Dalh's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" stands at the top of the heap when it comes to children's books. This is a pure classic of imagination, storytelling and magic. Far superior to the film (where Willy Wonka becomes the title character), the book tells the story from Charlie Bucket's point of view. Charlie, who lives with his four ancient grandparents and his mother in a one-room house, is the kind of child who can only dream about his future, since his family has barely enough money to survive. When the Wonka chocolatier announces that five golden tickets to visit the aged factory have been carefully tucked inside chocolate bars the world over, Charlie's dreams are suddenly wide open. He stumbles on some money in the street, purchases a chocolate bar and is thrust into the limelight beccoming one of the five lucky vistors. The rest of the tale is one of scrumptous folly and nerve-wracking sentiment, highlighted by magical workers (the one and only Oompa Loompas), the etheral Willy Wonka, a host of loony characters - both adults and kids - and a thrill ride in a factory where time stands still and also rocks forwards, backwards, sideways and then some! It's a classic tale of the triumph of good over evil, generosity over greed and family over fair-weathered friends. Sure to be enjoyed by children of all ages, adults included, this is the best children's book ever written - and deserves prominent place in every child's library.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous . . . but look for older printings,
My absolute favorite as a child and newly beloved by my kids. ONE CAUTION . . . the illustrations in the current version by Quentin Blake are highly inferior to the ones in the original printing by Schindelman. The originals convey Dahl's twisted, almost gothic vision much more richly. These illustrations (and I think some accompanying text) are distinctly non-PC vis. the Oompa-Loompas, but, especially if you are using this as a "read-to-me" book, this actually provides a teachable moment. Definitely get this book for your kids, but, for a more fulfilling experience, seek out a used version pre-1988 or so.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie's Dreams Come True,
What kid wouldn't love to tour a chocolate factory that no one had visited for several years? What kid wouldn't want access to secrets held by the greatest candy maker ever?
What kid wouldn't want to embark on a wild adventure and meet the amazing, Willy Wonka?
I can't think of one who wouldn't! :-)
I know I would love to do all of those things and I'm not even a kid anymore... well, I guess I'm a kid at heart.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an amazing book. I was first exposed to this story by my 3rd grade teacher, as a whole class read aloud. And from that day forward, I was a lover of the writings of Roald Dahl.
I have since read this story every year of my teaching career to my own classes. And I can honestly say that I have not found a class yet that has not loved the story of Charlie's amazing adventure! This is one of the greatest books ever written for children... and I really mean that!
Roald Dahl introduces us to the Bucket family, an unfortunate family who struggles to survive on the money Mr. Bucket makes as a toothpaste cap screwer.
One day Mr. Bucket is laid off from his job and the family begins to starve. One member of the family, little Charlie, struggles to subsist on bread and cabbage soup. Poor Charlie finds himself starving to death, when one day he finds a dollar in the snow and his whole life changes. With this dollar Charlie buys a candy bar just to fill his stomach and gets so much more than he could ever imagine.
Charlie becomes the 5th child to find a golden ticket and with it, has the marvelous opportunity to visit Mr. Wonka's chocolate factory.
At the factory Charlie meets up with a most wild assortment of characters:
* Augustus Gloop: A large boy who loves to eat more than anything in the world. His uncontrollable appetite leads him to a sticky end.
* Veruca Salt: A spolied rotten young lady. Who is prone to terrible tantrums when she can't get what she wants. Her greed leads her to a messy exit.
* Violet Beauregard: An incessant gum chewer who chomps and chomps her jaws day in and day out. Her insatiable desire for gum leads to her chewy end.
* Mike Teevee: A crazy Television addict, whose love for TV sends him zipping through the stratosphere.
* The Oompa Loompas: A group of melodic factory workers who work for Mr. Wonka, and act as a chorus in a greek tragedy. Their silly songs are one of the many highlights of this book.
* Mr. Willy Wonka: The enegmatic ruler of a chocolate universe. He has more secrets and surprises than we could ever hope for.
I highly reccommend this book for kids from 0 to 99! It is a nice read aloud for younger children, at an appropriate independent reading level for 3rd through 5th graders and can easily hold the attention of an adult. Read this wonderful book you will not be disappointed!
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie and the Chocolate factory,
By A Customer
The gates of Mr. Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory are opening at last- and only five children are allowed inside. The only way they are allowed in is if they have the golden wrapper from a Wonka chocolate bar. And the five winners are: Augustus Gloop, Veruca salt, Violet Beauregrade, Mike Teavee, and Charlie Bucket. Charlie is the main character, and comes from a poor family made up of his mom, and two sets of grandparents. When his birthday comes around, he just gets a homemade scarf and a candy bar. But candy seems to be the latest craze all over the world, because it seems that 5 golden wrappers were hidden with the candy bar. Whoever discovered the wrappers would win a lifetime of chocolate, after a visit to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Each day, a new winner was announced. Day one was Augustus Gloop. Day two was Veruca Salt. Day three, Violet Beaurgrade, and day four was Mike Teavee. There was one day left for Charlie to find the golden wrapper. And after a fortunate buy, Charlie discovered it. Able to bring only one person, he brought his grandfather, who was closest to him. And the two went hoping for the chance to become the most famous people in the world. I think this book has an interesting plot, with lots of interesting changes happening to Charlie along the way. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Desserts -- More Engaging Story Than the Movie Provides,
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of her picks.
Since many people have seen the movie and not read the book, let me briefly compare them. The book creates more of a contrast between want and plenty. Charlie Bucket and his family are literally starving to death in the book. The book is also more of a moral tale, along the lines of Dickens. Some of the satire is much more wickedly funny as well. For example, each time something happens to one of the other children in the Chocolate Factory, the Oompa-Loompas sing a very witty, satirical song to emphasize the lesson . . . not unlike a Greek chorus.
If you don't know the story, Willie Wonka is a regular candy magician. He has made a chocolate ice cream that doesn't melt even when out in the sun all day. He can make a gumball that never melts in your mouth, so you never have to buy another. He has candy balloons that you can blow up, and then eat.
But his competitors sent spies into his factory and stole his secrets. So he fired all of his employees and closed the factory. Then, one day it started up again behind a locked gate. But no one ever came in or went out. You could see small shapes behind some of the windows. The candy comes out each day from a hole in the wall all packed and addressed for the post office.
Suddenly, Willie Wonka announces that the children who are the holders of five golden tickets (hidden in five of his candy bars) will be allowed a one day tour of the factory. Everyone wants one!
Augustus Gloop lives on candy. His mother isn't surprised when he gets a ticket because he always eating candy.
Miss Veruca Salt is spoiled and her parents are rich. Her father bought 100,000 candy bars and had the people in his factories open all the wrappers until they found one.
Miss Violet Beauregard is a world champion gum chewer, and has been working on the same piece for 3 years now.
Mike Teavee never leaves his television, and likes to shoot at the screen with his 8 toy pistols.
Charlie Bucket is a poor boy who lives next to the factory. His father has just lost his job. He gets one candy bar a year for his birthday. Alas, the candy bar did not have a ticket in it. Feeling sorry for him, his grandfather gives Charlie his last 10 cents. That doesn't do it either. What now?
Inside the Chocolate Factory is a world better than Oz. Every child will love to hear about its wonders. Every parent will feel terrific for reading about these amazing features and sharing them. If you are like me, you will especially like the INVENTING ROOM.
After you finish enjoying this story with your child, I suggest that you talk about what you can do to help poor children. After all, Willie Wonka only helped one. There are lots more out there. I guess he wanted each of us to have our chance to help.
The next time you are in the mood for a dessert, imagine that you can have one of Willie Wonka's amazing delights! It'll feed your imagination while keeping your waistline right where it is.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fabulous book of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
A Kid's Review
This book is fantastic it is about a very poor boy named Charlie Bucket. He always goes to school with out a jacket because they don't have money to buy Charlie things. The setting of the book is an unnamed city; small wooden house on the edge of a great city,a fabled chocolate factory. The conflict is five children who have found golden tickets compete to see who will take over Mr. Wonka's chocolate factory. It all started when the newpaper announces that the Wonka chocolate factory will hide five golden tickets in the Wonka chocolate bars. Charlie desperately hopes he will find a golden ticket. The problem is that each year he gets a chocolate on his birthday, and he doesn't have money to buy one. Charlie father loses his job and the poor family is on brink of starvation. Charlie finds a dollar bill on the street, and before he tells his mother, he goes to buy two chocolate bars. One of the bars contains the fifth golden ticket. Charlie and his Grandpa Joe go to the Wonka Chocolate Factory. When the are finally there Mr. Wonka tells everybody to be careful,and not touch any thing from the factory. Then Augustus Gloop falls into the hot chocolate river while attempting to drink it, and gets sucked up by one of the pipes. Veruca Salt is determined to be a bad nut by nut judging squirrels who throw her out with the trash. Violet Beauregarde grabs an experimental piece of gum and chew herself into a giant blueberry. She is removed from the factory. Mike Teavee shrinks himself and his father has to carry him out in his breast pocket. So Charlie is the only one that is left in the factory. Mr. Wonka tries to find a person that would keep the chocolate factory. Mr. Wonka decided to give away his factory because he is too old. Then he decides that Charlie is the one who will run the factory exactly the way he has always run it. Finally Mr. Wonka congrarulates him for winning the entire factory for himself and his family.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy the Quentin Blake Illustrated Editions!,
*** A Purist's Review ***
Joseph Schindelman's illustrations are to Roald Dahl's text like Peanut Butter is to Jelly.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of those exciting and unexpected reading experiences that makes an impression when you are young and then years later comes to mind when choosing books for your own children. It is an exploration into a whimsical universe but yet grounded in a real and recognizable Victorian place... Nice for those who have not yet acquired a taste for complicated science fiction and fantasy.
My favorite part of the book was the characterizations of the children and their families and a critical part of my enjoyment was the hilarious and classical Joseph Schindelman illustrations. His pictures are truly inspired and cleverly silly... and appear to so accurately portray the essence of each character and scene... as though he knew exactly what Roald Dahl meant - even though this is a fantasy that could have many different visual interpretations. They captured my imagination and added immeasureably to the fun of the story. As a child I had absolutely no desire to see the Gene Wilder movie because the illustrations were so integral to the story in my mind. They remind me of the illustrations in the "Le Petit Nicholas" series (illustrated by Jean Jacque Sempe). . .which are so expressive and cute and elegantly done that they don't even need to be in color.
The new edition illustrations are so disappointing in comparison. It's really too bad that the new generation of young readers will be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with no peanut butter. I will instead look for a used copy of the older edition to give as a gift because introducing this wonderful book to a young child without those original illustrations would not be doing it justice.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delectably delicious book....,
This book is so delicious I just want to eat it! "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" might be in many people's eyes a story about morality but to me, it's a story about children and their love of all things sweet, sticky and delicious. Charlie Bucket is the delightful boy (who is so poor all he gets to eat is cabbage soup) who finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar he buys with money he finds in the street. This ticket entitles him and a companion to enter the wonderful world of Mr. Willy Wonka, the most famous and mysterious chocolate maker that the universe has ever known. Other competition winners include such heinous but wonderfully over the top characters like Augustus Gloop, the greediest boy in the world, and Veruca Salt, a spoilt brat whose father buys 10,000 chocolate bars so she can win a golden ticket. These greedy children and their frightful companions get their come-uppance in various hilarious ways that will have you spluttering with laughter with every page that you turn. Dahl's most famous creation in this book though are the Oompa-Loompas, a race of small people that Mr. Wonka has saved from extinction in the days when he traveled the world. This is a glorious, glorious book, filled with amazing characters, incredible sweets such as the everlasting gobstopper for the child with limited pocket money, and the chewing gum that that is a whole three course meal in itself. Your mouth will be watering throughout the story, and the river of chocolate will make you drool a waterfall. A scrumptious book for everyone no matter what their age.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It makes the world taste good,
Sometimes I wonder what the ratio of children who read this book before seeing the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is to children who saw the movie before reading the book. In my own personal case, I first met with the works of Roald Dahl by watching the movie in my elementary school. The scene where Violet blows up like a blueberry haunts my nightmares to this day, I might add. It was only after I saw the film that I began to wonder about the book. Was it better? Worse? About the same? So I picked it up, read it through, and found it to be an entirely different beastie than the film altogether. I shouldn't have been surprised, I suppose, but I was. Though there's an underlying creepiness to both the film and the book, the book also has a wide-eyed innocence about it that is virtually impossible to capture on the silver screen. Reading the book yet again today I am amazed by the story's capacity to reach into the minds of children and display before their wondering eyes a tale that praises the one item all kids love and all adults once coveted: CANDY.
Charlie Bucket lives with his mother, father, and four grandparents in a shoddy shack on the edge of town. The family is ridiculously poor and there is little money available for such treats as candy or chocolate. This is especially unfortunate for Charlie because he loves the stuff. Worse still (or better, depending on how you look at it), Charlie lives in the same town as the fabulous Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. One day, the owner of the factory, the mysterious Willy Wonka, offers a contest for the children of the world. He has hidden five golden tickets in some of his candy bars. Those lucky people who find the tickets will get a special tour of the chocolate factory (a place where no one's allowed in or out under normal circumstances) and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Four absolutely horrid children find the tickets first and then, by a stroke of providence, Charlie finds one himself. With his Grandpa Joe in tow the two join the other kids and parents as they take a wild ride within the marvelous chocolate factory itself.
If nothing else, Dahl taps into the best possible candy ideas an author has ever concocted. Author J.K. Rowling has come up with some pretty cool candies, it's true. But for sheer breadth and imagination, Dahl cannot be beat. This book contains everything from hot ice creams for cold days to cavity-filling caramels ("no more dentists"). In his typically ridiculous fashion the villains of the piece are one and all horrid to the end. Of course, of the different sins each child exhibits, the sin of chewing gum is probably the oddest. I can only assume it was added to the crew because the plot takes place in a candy factory and it's a convenient flaw to exploit. Just the same, wouldn't picking your nose be worse? And lead to all sorts of amusing punishments?
The cruelty of the book is there, true. But unlike the movie, the kids in this story definitely leave the plant alive and, if not well, at least wiser. Willy Wonka himself is endowed with a kind of delightful naiveté. He honestly tries to stop each child before he or she does something stupid and/or dangerous. Charlie himself is sort of an Oliver Twist type, complete with a saintly demeanor and countenance. All in all, I found the whole book to be great. I do wish I hadn't seen the movie first, but sometimes things like that are just unavoidable.
Now, if you're going to read a version of this tale, I highly suggest that you do NOT get the original 1964 edition. This was the version I read recently and boy oh boy do those Oompa-Loompas catch you by surprise. In the original version they were black pigmies from the, "deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had ever been before". Even the illustrations (originally created by Joseph Schindelman) show a variety of happy laughing pigmies. Someone must have complained to Mr. Dahl though, because if you look at the 1973 reprint, all the Oompa-Loompas have been magically transformed from black pigmies to small white hippies. Entire sections of the book have been rewritten, including an entirely new section talking about "hornswogglers" and "snozzwangers" which never appeared in the original book. Now, of course, the illustrator of choice is the illustrious Quentin Blake. His pictures contain wholly different images of the Oompa-Loompas and the new text has been kept. Better yet, the newest edition of "Charlie" has an interview with Mr. Dahl at the back of the book. Be sure to read the part where he talks about how the 1930s were the "glorious and golden decade" of chocolate. I can't vouch that this section exists in the paperback edition, however. Only the hardcover version with the chocolate colored cover.
In the end, what you get out of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" depends on what you put into it. If you go into this book expecting some sort of novelization of the film, you're going to end up sorely disappointed. If instead, however, you go in hoping for a book that effectively makes every reader's mouth water for Wonka's fabulous creamy candies and has a pretty good story to boot, go no further. It's a great story with a delightful dark side that kids will love and certain kids of adults will hate. A true children's classic.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two wonderfully wacky adventures,
By A Customer
This review is from: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Hardcover)
I love these two stories and it is terrific that the reader can get a hold of both of them with one book. If you are in search of an escape from reality, and a book that will stretch the limits of your imagination, then this book is it. I loved Charlie and the Chocholate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator both for being off the wall, really weird and hillarious all at the same time. I do not reccomend this book for readers who demand that everything makes sense in the things they read. Such readers will not enjoy this book, because much of it doesn't make sense, (Though that is why makes for a pleasant departure from the normal and the ordinary).
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Paperback - March 17, 2011)