Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced eight year old E. (one of the kids I am tutoring) to Roald Dahl via Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was the first time he was reading it, while I’ve read the book more times than I can count (and once more while he was reading it!), and I must say I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow this book — it’s still as magical as the first time I read it.

I was in third grade, and by then legally allowed into the library sections for big kids (although I had managed to smuggle myself in many times in previous years), and I was making my way through the shelves alphabetically. The battered hardcover copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory instantly caught my attention because we had a betamax tape of the 70’s Gene Wilder movie, and I grew up looking for a golden ticket in practically every chocolate bar I tore open.

And the book — I was so bowled over by it that I borrowed it thrice, so that I kept the book with me for over a month and I read and reread my favorite passages — Charlie’s quest for the golden ticket, the Chocolate Room and the Chocolate River, Everlasting Gobstoppers (which were sold in our school canteen, by the way, with Runts and Nerds and Fun Dip and Pixy Stix and Tarts ‘n’Tiny’s!), the three-course dinner gum, and the Super-vitamin candy! Over the years, I’ve gone through many copies and editions — several generations of well-thumbed Puffins, until I found one edition identical to the one I read for the first time (and that doesn’t keep me from drooling over the new Penguin Classics deluxe edition, sigh…)!

Anyway, to my delight, the book was as magical to E. as it was to me — he read it in practically one sitting, and hasn’t been able to stop talking about it for weeks! He keeps going over the book with me, singing the Oompa Loompa songs, and laughing over Mr. Fickelgruber, Mr. Prodnose and Mr. Slughorn. He even drew for me his own Wonka creation — a cavity-filling toffee!

After E. finished reading the novel, we read the pop-up version together. I got the book from the National Book Store booth at the last Manila International Book Fair; I just couldn’t resist adding it to my growing collection of pop-up books. The paper-engineering isn’t as elaborate as the pop-ups I normally go for; it mainly uses foldouts, flaps, and pull-tabs, but I bought it straightaway, as it’s based on one of my favorite books, and the art of Quentin Blake, one of my favorite children’s book illustrators (oh, but I love the original Joseph Schindelman illustrations, too!).

The story is understandably abridged, but it’s the perfect length for storytelling, or for beginning readers. And I like how there are mechanisms that show how the other ticket-holders (Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, and Mike Teavee) were one by one eliminated.

E. was spellbound for a good half-hour. I don’t blame him; anyone who’s loved the classic Dahl will surely love this pop-up edition, too!

I do hope the other Roald Dahl books get pop-ups editions also. I can just imagine how splendid, say, The BFG, or George’s Marvelous Medicine, or James and the Giant Peach would look in pop-up.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, hardcover, 5/5 stars
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Pop-Up Book, 4.5/5 stars

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Pop-Up Book is available at National Book Store.

8 thoughts on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

  1. This is one of my favorite stories of all time. Stories, I say, because I haven’t yet read the books! And I’m dying to find one. I cannot find a copy with the nearest Nat’l Bookstore here and even in the other store. I might check their main branch in my christmas marauding.

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