Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Mr. Willy Wonka, the eccentric owner of the greatest chocolate factory in the world, has decided to open the doors of his factory to five lucky children and their parents. In order to choose who will enter the factory, Mr. Wonka has five golden tickets hidden inside the wrappers of five of his famous chocolate bars.

The newspapers descend on each of the winners of the golden tickets. Augustus Gloop, a fat child whose only hobby is eating, gets the first ticket.

The second ticket is “won” by Veruca Salt. Veruca is a spoiled obnoxious child and is only in possession of one of the winning tickets because her rich father employed his factory of peanut shellers to unwrap chocolate bars until they found a ticket. That’s not very fair, is it?

Third ticket is discovered by Violet Beauregarde as she takes a break from gum chewing. She is trying to set a world record for gum chewing – lofty goal indeed.

Ticket #4 belongs to Mike Teavee, a boy who is obsessed with television. Get the play on words with his last name? Teavee = TV

The last ticket is found just the day before the tour of the chocolate factory is scheduled and it’s found by our unlikely hero – Charlie Bucket. Charlie is very poor and he lives in a drafty shack with his parents and both sets of grandparents. . There are just two rooms and the grandparents share the only bed while Charlie and his parents sleep on mattresses on the floor. They barely have enough food to fed the lot of them and then, Charlie’s father loses his job. It looks as if they will starve to death.

Fortuitously, Charlie finds a dollar one day, just sitting near the roadside in the snow. To celebrate his good fortune he purchases two chocolate bars. The same sort he gets once a year on his birthday. In the second chocolate bar he finds the last golden ticket. The very next day the five children, accompanied by their parents and Charlie accompanied by his grandfather, line up at the gates of the factory. There is much fanfare over these children getting a tour of the factory as no one has been inside for many many years.

As all the children except Charlie are insufferable brats and never listen to anyone’s instructions – thus..they suffer appropriate consequences to their poor behavior. I enjoyed that very much. The Oompa-Loompas would sing songs about each spoiled child as each suffered their punishments, noting in song all the shortcomings of their behavior. How awesome is that!

Near the end of the book all four of the bad children are sent home and Charlie “wins” the tour. A great prize it is too as what he’s won is ownership of Willie Wonka’s factory.

My Cook the Book’s submission is posted with recipe and photos at Squirrel Head Manor as well as Goodreads.

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