I have a zillion books in my TBR and I go and read a book I’ve read so many times. Why? Because I love this book so much; it was, and still is, one of my favorite books.
Charlie Bucket is a poor boy living with his parents and four grandparents in the same town as Willy Wonka, the most famous chocolatier in the world. When Willy Wonka announces a never-before opportunity for five children to visit his Chocolate Factory and learn his secrets, Charlie’s family pool in to buy him a Wonka’s Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight for his birthday, but there is no Golden Ticket in there. But one cold winter day, Charlie finds a fifty-penny in the snow and uses it to buy a slab of chocolate, and lo and behold, it turns out to have a Golden Ticket. Thus begins Charlie’s journey into Wonka’s factory, a paradise of chocolaty delights, a trip that will bring him more than just a lifetime of chocolates.
If there is anything I can say against this book, it is that it made me HUNGRY! I mean, with all those delicious chocolates popping up at every instant, how can my mouth not water?
Mr Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change colour every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds' eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little pink sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.
Is that all? No, you have Hot Icecreams for Cold Days, Fizzy Lifting Drinks, Cavity-Filling Caramels, Wriggle-Sweets that wriggle delightfully in your tummy, and much much more. The book is an exercise in creativity, it’s a joy to read Dahl’s imagination run amok as he creates this fantastic little world every child (and adult) will love. I read that Dahl lived close to a Cadbury factory and dreamed of creating a new chocolate that would win the appreciation of Mr. Cadbury himself. Looks like he put all that inventiveness in this book. However, I must include a statutory warning. After reading this book, you will suffer serious hunger pangs and an urge to run to the store and buy up all the chocolates on display. Read at your own risk!
But this book is not all fun and games. Dahl subtly inserts some social messages into the story. He warns parents against spoiling their children sick, against giving in to their every whim, whether it be food or television. There is an air of a favorite uncle dispensing out wisdom to little kids, the feeling of him taking you on his lap and telling you how to be a better person. In a non-preachy way, he gets his message across. The book is as much about morals as it is about chocolates; it tells you that you can triumph all odds if you retain your values. A scrumptious book, a gem in children's literature.