Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


I'm having a very Willy Wonka week as I've just read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl to my four-year-old son and he absolutely loved it. And really what's not to love? The fascinating Willy Wonka, a contest to find golden tickets hidden in chocolate bars, the lovable Charlie and Grandpa Joe, oompa-loompas, a super cool factory and chocolate and candy galore! My son is completely enthralled and he's begging for us to read it all over again. In his own words "this is a FANTASTIC book! So how come it doesn't have a Caldecott medal?" I just had to smile when he made that comment and I quickly answered, "well, not all fantastic books win awards you know." I later found out that the book did win several prizes years after it was published.


Dahl's writing is creative and delightfully delicious. He was inspired by his memories of Cadbury chocolates during his school days. The famous chocolate company frequently sent test packages to school children and asked for their opinions. He dreamed of creating a new kind of sweet and he certainly invents some amazing ones in this book. Hot ice cream for cold days, gobstopper candies that never run out of flavour, chewing gum that gives you a three course meal and fizzy lifting drinks!

I've bought some actual Willy Wonka candies such as Gobstoppers and Nerds and shown my son snippets of the film with Gene Wilder. I just loved that magical movie when I was a kid. One of the best things about having children is that we get to live out all our favourite things from our own childhood. I remember I used to be scared of the oompa-loompas but actually they're not frightening at all and there are so many little lessons in their funny songs. Here's a sample of lyrics from musical numbers in the film:

What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?
Eating as much as an elephant eats
What are you at getting terribly fat?
What do you think will come of that?

“What do you get from a glut of TV?
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
Why don’t you try simply reading a book?
Or can you just not bear to look?”

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
Given good manners, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

22 comments:

  1. Very cool! I recently added this to my summer reading list for my kids (4 and 7). Glad to hear it was well received by your four-year-old.

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  2. This is such a great book! You can see how much this inspired Rowling to create Honeydukes and the Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes =)

    The Gene Wilder film version is my favourite :)

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  3. Looove Roald Dahl; I loved the Gene Wilder film also when I was a kid.

    The BFG is also one of my favorites :)

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  4. I love the Gene Wilder film - I had such a crush on gene Wilder *embarassed*. it's a book that translates so well to the screen - there is so much possibility with it! And how lovely to be able to share it again with another generation.

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  5. I must have watched the Wilder film 100 times when I was a kid. Couldn't get enough of it and when I was a little older I loved the book as well. One of the great book/film combos for children.

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  6. Fabulous, thanks for reminding me!

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  7. Your post has me wanting to re-watch this movie pronto! :)

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  8. Hey!

    I am visiting via the hop. I love meeting fellow book bloggers and just wanted to say hello!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE WIlly Wonka!!!

    And the plot thickens...

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  9. Hopping over. Yes, I still like the Chocolate Factory. It'll always be a favorite. How could it not? :-)

    My blog: http://leeswammes.wordpress.com

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  10. Just hopping by to say, hi.
    Kelly Bookend Diaries
    http://bookenddiaries.blogspot.com

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  11. Roald Dahl was one of my favorite authors growing up! I couldn't get enough of James and the Giant Peach.

    I just found you via the book blog hop. Great stuff!

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  12. Yay for Roald Dahl! :) I adore his books but I´ve never seen the Wilder movie, will need to change that.

    I think this book is a childhood favorite by nearly everyone, I even had a conversation with my dentist about it (that is, he talked and I umhummed :D )!

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  13. My son watched the newer version of the film at school so I showed him the original at home. He and his sister loved it. I don't think he's read the book yet. Maybe I'll make that a summer project for us.

    Happy blog hop BTW. Pussreboots.

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  14. I so clearly remember reading this when it first was published, and I was in fifth grade! I can see my grandparents' home, and the chair I sat in which to read it during Spring Break.

    I read it to my class every so often, and it never fails to amaze and delight them. Even more than (both) films! I'm so glad your son is delighted, too.

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  15. Just hopping by as part of the blogger hop! I've really enjoyed browsing your reviews. I have to say, I feel like I've been watching this Willy Wonka my whole life but I've never read Dahl's book, even though I've loved his other stuff. You've convinced me to remedy that sooner rather than later!

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  16. You can never go wrong with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The book is fantastic, creative, and a feast for the imagination.

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  17. Joining you from over at the hop. My all time favourite RD novel, it was interesting to read your thoughts on it. Nice to have met you, I've enjoyed visiting.

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  18. Willy Wonka scared me so much as a young girl that I wouldn't sit with my son to watch it. I didn't want to mention my memories...he just frightened me!

    Sounds like such a wonderful memory you made with your son this weekend.

    I remember reading all of the Roald Dahl books with our son. When he was old enough to read them we would read in the car, in bed, all the time! James and the Giant Peach was scary too. The aunt was so mean.

    Have a great week.

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  19. Oh I absolutely loved Willy Wonka as a kid too, and I used rewind the movie (video tape then) and watch it again and again :)

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  20. I haven't actually read this book yet!! It is sitting on my shelf for God knows how long. More is the pity because I love the movie....have to read it! Your review made me hungry, I can imagine what the book would do to me! :)

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  21. Along with the Wizard of Oz, this was one of my favourite movies and I am pleased that L loved he book. I am now thinking it is time to read it to A&J.

    I caught up with one of our friends in Singapore tonight and I was telling her about our blogs. I am sending this link to her in the hope that she will also be inspired to... write.

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  22. the Gene Wilder version of the movie is popular in Japan
    http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/willy-wonka-and-the-chocolate-factory-in-japanese/

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