By Ben, 20 January 2019
“Only once a year, on his birthday, did Charlie Bucket ever get to taste a bit of chocolate.”
M: Do you like chocolate?
B: Yes, I love chocolate. Why do you ask?
M: Because I think it’s important to like the main food in a book if you’re reading about it.
B: But you’re not a big fan of chocolate?
M: That’s true. But I think I’d like to visit Mr Wonka’s chocolate factory even though I’m not a big chocolate fan. Wouldn’t you?
B: Yeah, I would love to.
M: What did you think of the book?
B: It was funny because the Oompa Loompas, the workers, would start singing when each child tried to eat the candies and got into trouble.
M: What was it about the songs that you liked?
B: They were funny.
M: We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning. What’s the story about?
B: It’s about a boy called Charlie Bucket and he has a poor family. They don’t have any money, but they have a house, so they aren’t hobos. Willy Wonka is handing out golden tickets for 5 lucky children to find in chocolate bars so they can visit his factory and to get life-time supply of candies (they’d probably all get diabetes).
M: So far so good. Then what happens?
B: So Charlie finds one of the tickets and goes to the factory with his Grandpa Joe. The other kids are spoilt and rude and not like Charlie. Charlie is like, normal, because he is poor I guess.
M: What sort of adventures do the kids have in the factory?
B: They see lots of candies and chocolates and Mr Wonka shows them his new inventions. But every time they go into a new room, a child disappears because they mess around with the gadgets or eat food that isn’t ready to be eaten.
M: Sounds scary. What was your favourite part of the whole book?
B: The Oompa Loompas. Even their name is funny.
M: But don’t you think they are sort of like slaves? They just get bossed around and told what to do, and they are guinea pigs for Mr Wonka’s inventions too.
B: Yeah, that makes me feel a bit sad. But the book doesn’t tell anyone about how they feel though, so I don’t know if they are happy or sad or if they feel any emotions. So maybe I’m not that sad.
M: Hmmm. Who was your least favourite character or characters?
B: All of the other children except Charlie because they were greedy and disgusting.
M: If there was one type of candy you could invent, what would it be?
B: Everlasting gummy bears, so when you take a bite out of it, it grows back. Like a tree but keeps growing back. Chocolate and lemon flavoured, actually, strawberry, grape, raspberry, mango … but not all together at one time (this is making me very hungry).
M: Me too. Last question. What are the key lessons that you learnt from this story?
B: To not be a snob and not to touch things in a factory if you don’t know what will happen to you when you touch it.
M: Thank you Ben.
B: Thank you Mama. Can I have a gummy bear now?
For ages 8 and up (preferably reading aloud together).