Parents' Guide to

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

By Stephany Aulenback, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Classic morality tale is wildly entertaining.

Book Roald Dahl Fantasy 1964
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 6+

Perfect Family Read-Aloud

We loved this book so much! My son was hanging on every word. He begged for more every time we stopped. Dahl really draws you in. I appreciate that the chapters are short, made it easier to pause without disrupting the story. My son is very sensitive and I was worried he would be upset by the children getting in bad situations, but at 7.5 it was fine and funny . Just know what your kid can handle. One kid gets stuck in a pipe and one is headed to an incinerator, the others are obviously silly. It made for a great conversation about the haves and the have-nots. And for the majority who root for the underdog (especially kids who want fairness), it's a very satisfying ending.
1 person found this helpful.
age 4+

Offbeat fun

Once I'd reassured my 4.5 year old that we would see all the children again at the end, it was full steam ahead. I've read it twice to her now and she loves it. What happens to the "naughty" children is so off the scale that it doesn't bother her and she can appreciate the humour. I edited down a couple of the overly long Oompa Loompa song sermons so she wouldn't lose interest. And also the reference to Oompa Loompas getting drunk as that's a bit beyond her comprehension! But the Oompa Loompas themselves were a big favourite.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (65 ):

Rarely, if ever, has a morality tale been dressed up in such an entertaining story. Roald Dahl clearly has a point to make here, but never does the reader feel he is preaching; he's just reveling in giving spoiled kids their most perfectly just comeuppance. Dahl has peopled these pages with some highly memorable bad children, and readers everywhere love to laugh with glee at their crazy behavior -- and its consequences.

In the best fairy tale tradition, Dahl doesn't hide the fact that the world can be a grim and unfair place. Charlie's depressing life of poverty at the beginning of the novel reflects this bleak view, but Dahl also appeals to the strong sense of natural justice in children, and invites them to revel in a marvelously imagined world where people, both good and bad, get exactly what they deserve. It's also a place where a genius candy-maker invents "eatable marshmallow pillows," "hot ice cream for cold days," "fizzy lifting drinks" that make you float, and "rainbow drops" that let you "spit in six different colours." And, in the end, it's just the place for Charlie.

Book Details

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