The Publisher says the unsettling image reflects the way Dahl’s writing “manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life”, and represents the “twisted” parent-child relationships depicted throughout the book.
Recently there is an uproar among the Roald Dahl’s fans concerning the new edition released by Penguin Modern Classics in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The comments are interminably linked to feelings of the arouse of sexuality, the little miss beauty queen makeover, the photograph being unconnected with the story, and the disappearance of Charlie Bucket acting as the main character and the name of the book title.
At first, I found it a bit vulgar too, but afterwards when I thought about the plot of the story which I had read 10 years ago, for example, the self-sought punishment and the cruel elimination of the children, I started to grow a liking to appreciate the book cover.
Although I think Quentin Blake’s version is much better than this one (I read Roald Dahl’s children books with illustrations by Quentin Blake), I’d say, I decided to look at the cover fairly and in an openly way. It is through different covers that we would look at the content given with different perceptions and new insights (confined with a category of children’s book), and those are what make a book interesting. In the cover, I can change my impression to a deep dark side, and we can have more analyses with this book apart from a jolly good side. It is how a cover become contagious, influential and impactful.
If it hadn’t been the newly-released version, I wouldn’t have decided to re-read it in another perspective. So in this case, I am going to get myself with this new cover and re-read it.
(Of course, for those who are children or for whose who haven’t read this book, this will be another matter!)