Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

I’ve been wanting to reread some Roald Dahl books ever since the centenary celebrations of his birth back in September last year. Having seen the musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last autumn I decided to choose it as my first reread.

Charlie Bucket’s family are poor, and can only afford to give him one chocolate bar a year on his birthday, so when the owner of the local chocolate factory, Willy Wonka, starts to give away golden tickets for a tour of the factory in his chocolate bars, Charlie’s odds don’t look good. However, through a stroke of luck, he manages to get his hands on a precious golden ticket and goes on an adventure to meet Willy Wonka with his Grandpa Joe.

It’s a very easy and fun read full of the Roald Dahl wit everyone knows and loves and his characterisations are fantastic, and I particularly loved Grandpa Joe. It was a lovely nostalgic read as I’ve loved the story since I was little, and I’m looking forward to rereading more Roald Dahl and revisiting some other childhood favourites.

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The BFG

This year marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, which makes it perfect timing for a new film version of one of his most famous stories.

A young orphan called Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is taken from the orphanage by a giant who she decides to call the BFG, the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Unlike the other giants, who eat children, the BFG collects dreams and blows them into children’s bedrooms. Together, in a plan which involves a visit to Buckingham Palace, they set out to stop the other giants from bullying the BFG and kidnapping children.

As always, Mark Rylance is absolutely perfect as the BFG. His face is so expressive. The entire tone of the film is delightful, and the Buckingham Palace scenes are very funny, with some lovely moments including Penelope Wilton as the Queen and Rafe Spall as a footman.

I do agree with some reviews that have mentioned that the film is a little slow in the middle, and possibly a little too long. However these are very slight niggles regarding what is otherwise a wonderful and emotional film.