This is obviously a classic and for good reason. Dahl sets up a multi-layered narative that juxtaposes the ellusive imagination of children with the real-world realities of the adult world. Mr. Wonka apparently found near immorality in his youthful enjoyment of the impossible and the magical. All of the children invited to the factory appear to be mini-adults and display all of the foibles, quirks and nastiness of their parents, except for Charlie and his child-like grandfather who win it all in the end. I love the messages I got out of rereading this with my children: Believe in the impossible and don't take life too seriously.
This is as much fun to read out loud as Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book or Too Many Daves. Dahl's descriptions of the fantasy world of the Chocolate Factory builds better pictures in young minds than either movie manages to create.
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