My son’s face is smudged with chocolate. He’s smirking with joy and pride. Why?
Because we have been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It began, like many of our read alouds, with the movie (we prefer the Gene Wilder version). At the moment this is working well for us because he loves the story, knows the characters and is excited to read the book.
The book has been delightful. Roald Dahl is a wonderful storyteller and his stories are enjoyable to read aloud. There are short chapters and lots of dialogue. Each chapter leaves you longing for another. Usually when I read aloud, Mr 4 is allowed to play or fiddle quietly (no noisy play or noisy toys). I often read while he plays with his trains. Not this book. This book I would start and, within a minute, he would be climbing into my lap to follow along closer and look at the pictures. It has been a great book to share together. Even Mr 2, will pick it up and start jabbering excitedly. He seems to get that this is a fun and exciting book.
I, personally, found the Oompa-Loompa’s song about television to be exceptionally on point. Here is just a part of it.
” ‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY…USED…TO…READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic takes
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and–
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole–
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
As we read the book my son commented, “I wish I could make chocolate.” Something I had been planning to do with him all along. So together we printed out a recipe (a lovely friend had sent it to me) and shopped for the ingredients. Mr Willy Wonka tells the children, “You cannot make chocolate without the cacao bean” and out we went shopping for Cacao Powder and Cacao Butter.
When we began our final chapter, Mr 4 was almost jumping out of his seat with excitement. We finished, put down the book, and went to be Willy Wonka in our kitchen.
He helped measure, cut, mill, stir, melt, pour, combine and decorate. I managed to keep my sanity about the mess, the boiling water and the burning hot bowl, not to mention the fact that very little I cook ever turns out how I planned it. Together we succeeded and now have a nice plate full of chocolates that we made all by ourselves. They’re quite dark which he likes and I don’t so he’s extra excited that he will get to eat all of them. I think they will make a perfect Poetry Teatime treat.
It has been such a wonderful way to finish the book and, I hope, one that will help him fondly remember it and our time spent together reading it.
This is the recipe I used although I made it on the stove as I don’t have a Thermomix – Quirky Cooking’s Dairy Free Raw Chocolate
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl at the Book Depository (afflink)