New 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' Book Cover Is Beyond Creepy

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

When I first saw the image that is being used for the new edition of Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I thought it was something more along the lines of a primer on how to prep for Toddler and Tiaras or a reprint of Lolita. But nope.

The new version -- in celebration of the book's 50th anniversary -- is an odd, disturbing, and very creepy reboot of the uber-popular novel.

We're talking the stuff of nightmares here.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Yeah, creepy right?

Business Insider proves that I am not alone in my response to the cover, noting that some are calling it a “FAIL,” “inappropriate,” and “sinister.”

Penguin, the publisher of the book, defended the cover on their blog, stating:

This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl’s writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life, ready for Charlie’s debut amongst the adult titles in the Penguin Modern Classics series.

Personally I believe the image, who most are guessing is supposed to represent Veruca Salt, just doesn't go along with the tone, feel, or spirit of the book. What does a young girl wearing tons of makeup, big hair, and a vacant stare have to do with a book about chocolate, beating the odds, and the karma that comes with being a good (or bad) person?

The other thing is that this new cover does not, I repeat, does not look like the cover of a children's book. We have a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on my 8-year-old daughter's bookshelf, and it looks nothing like that. If it did, I probably wouldn't have it there. I would hunt out another, any other, version of the book.

People routinely engage in "judging a book by its cover," and this cover does not visually represent the magic and power that live within the pages. It is a total disconnect and a marketing FAIL. They could have done so many other cool things for the cover -- an Oompa Loompa, a picture of Willie Wonka, or a chocolate bar. Really, anything would have been better than this.

What do you think of the new cover?

Images via Penguin Books and

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