'Bonanza' 2014 for Charlie's 50th

'Bonanza' 2014 for Charlie's 50th

Puffin and the Roald Dahl estate are planning a “bonanza” 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including three new print books.

Francesca Dow, m.d. for Penguin Children’s, said Charlie . . . was Dahl’s most successful book in terms of consumer awareness and sales, with 20 million copies sold worldwide to date.

“This is a chance to remind everyone what an amazing story it is,” she told The Bookseller. “It’s also a chance to introduce Charlie to new readers, as well as re-present the book to the generation that grew up with it.”

Over the course of the year, three new versions of the book will hit the shelves: a double-cover paperback with a souvenir golden ticket; a full-colour edition illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake; and a Penguin Classic.

In September, journalist Lucy Mangan will publish a book looking at the history and making of Dahl’s book, entitled Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willie Wonka, the Golden Ticket and Roald Dahl’s Most Famous Creation. She will also host an industry “in conversation” event with Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly.

Puffin and the Roald Dahl estate will roll out several events throughout the year, starting in February at the Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre, which will host an illustration event with Blake. Many of the celebrations will be available online, including a Puffin Virtually Live webcast, which will come from the stage of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical, which is on at the Theatre Royal in central London.

In Great Missenden, Bucks, the Roald Dahl Museum will also host events, including an opening of the factory gates used in Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the book, in February.
The Marvellous Children’s Charity, which raises funds to support seriously ill children, will organise fundraisers such as an Oompa-Loompa skydive and a Charlie... dress-up day. Amanda Conquy, m.d. of the estate, said the festivities would celebrate the book’s enormous legacy.

“Charlie felt very ahead of its time because it showed children and their parents that you don’t need to shy away from humour and subversiveness,” she said. “It also showed that books can have a timeless quality—it still feels contemporary.”