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Last we checked, Roald Dahl’s immortal classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is about a poor boy who gets a golden ticket and visits Willy Wonka’s wondrous chocolate factory. Sure, Dahl had plenty of social commentary in the book, but it didn’t have anything to do with a girl in bizarre, doll-like makeup sitting on a woman’s lap.
Penguin Books must have read something different and decided that the book is about a creepy little girl in ‘60s makeup. As AdWeek points out, children being manipulated by parents is a small theme in the book, but it’s not Dahl’s main focus. So, why did Penquin use the cover? Attention seems to be the only possible solution, especially based on a Facebook post from the publisher.
“So far Creative Review, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Guardian,BuzzFeed, Today Show and some of you lovely people have discussed our new Penguin Modern Classics cover for #CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory,” the post reads. “Will you be buying a copy?”
By “discussed,” Penguin means overwhelmingly trashed. Most of the Facebook comments are complaints about how the cover has nothing to do with Dahl’s story. Some have said that it sexualizes young children. That may be a theme in Lolita, but it’s not one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
“No. Call me a traditionalist, but I think a book cover should in someway reflect it's content, which this doesn't - not even close,” one person replied on Facebook. “This book is delightful, this cover is not.”
The cover is a crop of a photo that appeared in a 2008 issue of Numero magazine. It probably wouldn’t even be appropriate for a DVD cover of Tim Burton’s movie with Johnny Depp. What do you think of the cover?
image via Facebook from Penguin Books
image of Johnny Depp courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com