“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the classic children's book about a poor kid who thinks a Golden Ticket is good enough proof that he should run a gigantic chocolate empire, turns 50 this year. To celebrate, Penguin is releasing the book with a new cover. Oh my god, this cover.
The thing is, I get it. Roald Dahl is a macabre author (and morally dubious person, by the way) whose stories contain scary, creepy, and downright mean moments often directed at children. Surely Dahl, a fan of the grotesque, would relish the weirdness of this cover. But is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” really about superficiality or vanity or plasticine values, as this photo depicts? I think it's more about Charlie realizing his conscience is worth a splendid factory of goodies. Veruca and Violet are merely sideshows in the underdog tale at hand, and they're the ones being represented here.
That said, I came up with a few other things this cover would actually be appropriate for:
-A new album by Hole. Or, hell, an old album by Hole.
-A Jacqueline Susann biography.
-An Adele/Kraftwerk mashup album.
-A Mattel tell-all
-A brochure for Honey Boo Boo Child's inevitable debut as a performance artist.
Shivers. I guess all that's left to be said is: “Hi Cornelia, how are ya, sweetie?”