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Do not judge a book by it’s cover – but readers certainly do. It is the first thing that people see and they certainly expect the cover to relate to the book which in the case of this new version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” it really doesn’t seem to.

The publishers say on their facebook page: “This design is in recognition of the book’s extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children’s books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list, this new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl’s writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life”. However many seem to disagree.

Although aimed at adults, From Quentin Blake’s designs to this book design, to some it is quite a shock. The image was taken by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello who are both fashion photographers based in Paris. You will see that the cover is of a girl wearing a pink coat and make-up.


Roald Dahls’ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Illustrated by Quentin Blake.


Roald Dahl’s new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Book Cover
image via Penguin Books

The girl looks like a doll and it seems many find the image rather “creepy”. According to the Yorkshire Post, writer Lucy Coats, the author of more than 30 books for children said: ““It is sexualised and has nothing to do with the book.” Many have been surprised and have questioned this choice of cover with comments such as the below:



Although from what i have read a lot of the comments have been negative, there are also some positive. If you read the comments section on Creative Review you will find a complete variety of opinions, some quite positive.

One person commented “I thought the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (penguin modern classics) cover was a spoof when I saw it”. According to Creative Review however this is definitely legitimate and this version of the book will become one of very few children’s books on the Modern Classics list.

What do you think of the book cover? We’d love to hear your point of view.