It’s #TimelessTuesday and #WorldChocolateDay today. And so there is only one favourite that I can think of – Roald Dahl’s absolutely delicious Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
Decadently delightful, whimsically wonderful this book has the brilliantly creative Willy Wonka promise lifetime supply of sweets and a tour of his chocolate factory to five lucky kids. While the poor Charlie Bucket gets the golden ticket by a stroke of sheer luck , the other competitors are determined to win. In a sugar coated way, Roald Dahl touches many themes from bad parenting to addiction like gum-chewing, television and overeating. Most kids enjoy this world and the happy ending with poor, honest Charlie winning the Chocolate Factory, although a few stop to wonder about the dark shades of Willy Wonka and the treatment of children.
Creative writing with Grade 1 to 4
…Make your own chocolate. Give it a fabulous name Roald Dahl Gobble funk style. Who is it for – does it make a class bully shrink, does it make you feel bold when facing an exam, make your mum forget all about tidying your room/screen time:)
…Write a letter pitching it to Willy Wonka. Create an advertisement.
Dig Deeper with Grade 4 to 6
Is Willy Wonka’s love for chocolate , just a metaphor for indulgence? Are the other three children embodiments of gluttony and greed and vanity. Now think of the other “deadly sins” like envy, wrath and sloth. If you were to make children to demonstrate these , how would they look, what would they do in the chocolate factory?
Think! Talk with Grade 6+
Of Espionage and Stealing Ideas…
The chocolate spies who try to steal Willy Wonka’s inventions for rival candy makers were not entirely a product of Dahl’s imagination. In the 1920s, chocolatiers companies actually sent spies to steal each other’s innovations.
….Discuss the difference between inspiration and copying, plagiarism and intellectual property.
Of slavery and labour…
When Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was initially published in 1964, the Oompa-Loompas were described as African pygmies that Willy Wonka “discovered” and shipped to England “in large packing cases with holes in them.” After getting flak for this racist portrayal, Dahl rewrote the Oompa-Loompas, describing them as small people with white skin and long golden brown hair who come from Loompaland
…Explore the story from the POV of an Oompa Loompa. How would you feel living locked up in a factory, doing the same tasks. Your boss of many years , doesn’t even know your names and think you all look alike. After many years of brilliant service, he won’t choose one of you to lead the company but is looking for a child , to take care of you after him!
Other Chocolatey Books to read
- Love Monster and the Last Chocolate – Picture Book -Rachel Bright
- Curious George and the chocolate factory – HA Rey – always a delight
- The Chocolate Touch -Patrick Skene Catling – a Midas touch retold with some nice touches.
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