Charlie and the Chocolate Factory turns 50, gets a yummy new cover

  • Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2014 10:43 IST

After the new covers for ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ launched by its parent company Pengiun UK were dismissed by twitterati as ‘creepy’, the firm's Indian branch has bounced back with its own cover art for new editions of Roald Dahl’s beloved children novel.

The launch is just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the book's publication in 1964, and also the author’s birthday on September 13.

The classic, which has sold over 13 million copies worldwide, will be available in a new avatar — designed by Sir Quentin Blake, who famously illustrated several of the original covers for Dahl’s books.

Blake was also the winner of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002, the highest recognition available to creators of children's books.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is all about imagination, travel and making your dreams come true and we are delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this beloved classic in this very special way,” commented Hemali Sodhi, Publisher, Penguin Random House India, Children’s.

In a cover, styled to resemble a partially unwrapped bar of chocolate, the new edition makes for a delectable sight.

Apart from launching a new edition of the book, Penguin India has also announced, in conjunction with Amazon India, a contest available to children between the ages of nine to 12.

Contestants who correctly answer five questions related to the book on the website will be flown to the UK to see the Roald Dahl museum.

Is this all too much for a book which is half a century old? Amazon India director Samir Kumar doesn’t think so.

"Roald Dahl is one of the most read and cherished authors of children's fiction. Even today his interesting works fascinate children just like 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' that continues to be one of the most popular children's book on our website," he says.

Dahl, regarded as one of the most successful and well known of all children's writers, was born in 1916 in Wales of Norwegian parents. Educated in England, Dahl started work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa.

He began writing after a "monumental bash on the head," sustained as an RAF pilot during World War II. He died in 1990 at the age of seventy-four.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory continue to be one of his most popular books. It has inspired several adaptations — including a 2005 film directed by Tim Burton, and a long-running Broadway show in the UK.

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