Genre: Children's Classic
Status: Charlie Bucket #1
Publication Date: 1964
Page Count: 132
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The Bucket family is down on their luck. With two sets of grandparents too old to get out of bed, and a small boy named Charlie, Mr. and Mrs. Bucket have a lot of mouths to feed and not a lot of money to do it with. When the mysterious Mr. Willy Wonka announces the release of five golden tickets inside of his chocolate bar wrappers that will admit five children to see his factory, the whole world can't get enough Wonka bars. Charlie defies the odds and finds a ticket, and gets to experience the magical and improbable world of Willy Wonka.
This was my first time reading the original story, although I was extremely familiar with the story. I have seen both movie versions, the Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp versions, many times. In fact, I much preferred the Johnny Depp version and was pleasantly surprised to discover that adaptation is pretty much spot on (except for the weird daddy issues backstory, that's all the creation of Tim Burton.)
Despite knowing the story quite well, I really enjoyed reading this story, I didn't read a lot of Dahl as a kid because I accidentally stumbled upon his creepier works first, which didn't sit so well with scardy cat child me. But, what I had read of him as a child I really enjoyed. I loved seeing Quentin Blake's original illustrations of the characters; those two were the perfect pair.
This story is the perfect combination of whimsy, humor, and moral. The original Oompa-Loompa songs were quite crude, and the children (minus Charlie) are quite as annoying as they are in the film.
I'm quite eager to make my way through the rest of Dahl's children's works and then move on to his adult works. Up next, I'm hoping to start Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, which I know nothing about plot wise and I'm thoroughly excited for. What's your favorite Dahl story?