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"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"'s Missing Chapter

charlie chocolate factoryIn celebration of Roald Dahl Month, Penguin Puffin just released four new Roald Dahl books, including  The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets. Are you ready to celebrate the splendiferous news with a fizzy lifting drinks?!

The Missing Golden Ticket  includes “Spotty Powder,” a missing chapter from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a recipe for fudge, and excerpts from the late author’s  old report cards.

If your child is an academic underachiever, don’t fret. There’s still hope that he can grow up to be a highly acclaimed, best-selling author like Roald Dahl. Know what some of his teachers said about him when he was a student?

One of Dahl’s teachers called him “consistently idle,” while another described the aspiring writer as “an indolent and illiterate member of the class.” In another report card, Dahl is called, “A persistent muddler. Vocabulary negligible, sentences malconstructed. He reminds me of a camel.”

A camel?!

Apparently, the missing chapter was deleted from Charlie before it was published. Also included in the collection are some early draft notes as well as some “naughty children who didn’t make the book’s final cut,” according to Galleycat. As always, there are wonderful illustrations by longtime Dahl collaborator Quentin Blake.

My 8-year-old daughter Jesse counts Matilda as her favorite Dahl book, but she’s also a devoted Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fan. She’s read the book and watched both film adaptations (still can’t decide which version she prefers — the Gene Wilder one or the Johnny Depp one. They’re both great).

I love the fact that Dahl’s books use colorful, sophisticated language and encourage imaginative thinking. They’re darkly funny and don’t condescend to kids. If you haven’t already ventured beyond Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I highly recommend The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and The Twits.

Meanwhile, this month, Penguin Puffin is sponsoring a reading marathon in which kids can win “dahlicious prizes.” There is also a calendar listing for Dahl-inspired events throughout the month.

How will you celebrate Roald Dahl month? Why not throw a Roald Dahl Day party and dress up as your favorite Dahl character? Maybe Veruca Salt? Or an Oompa Loompa?

Photo: Penguin Puffin

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