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 Amazon.com

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kayba... kaybayblee3

That cover makes no sense. I'm guessing it's supposed to be Veruca Salt, but that just looks plain creepy.

Heath... HeatherMazzone

Yeah that cover is definitely a fail. Hopefully they come to their senses and change it.

nonmember avatar M

The thing is that the kids at the factory are NOT the main characters! Charlie, his grandpa, and Wonka are. Seems pretty insulting to put a minor character on the cover just because you can make it look creepier with a particular photo. A good cover might be a shot of Charlie from the inside of his family's sad shack looking out of a dirty window at the magnificent chocolate factory, with the golden ticket in his hand. Hell a good cover might be anything that doesn't feature a minor character. As a lifetime fan of Roald Dahl (NOT Johnny Depp or Tim Burton, who said that Wonka "hated children," showing he never read the book), I am pretty offended by this.

nonmember avatar C Greene

What the heck?

Patrick Gerard

I agree about it being the wrong choice but the statement from Penguin does seem to reinforce that this edition isn't being presented as a children's book or marketed at children. They're trying to shed to book's image as a children's book, it sounds like.

Leigh Webb

if you read the Penquin statement "ready for Charlie’s debut amongst the adult titles in the Penguin Modern Classics series" this is the cover that is ranged amoungst other classic titles that will be aimed at older audiences. There will still be a childrens friendly cover that will sit in the children's section of bookstores.

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