Like most families reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, we were mesmerized and enchanted by the adventure into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
As my family closed the book for the third time on Charlie and Willy, as they’ve become known here, a litany of questions followed.
“Mom, can we please jump into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?” This brought about a bit of a problem for me as “Charlie” was one of those “untouchable” books. A book so captivating that it’s better to let it rest in the mind and imagination instead of disappointing by not meeting up to the “enchantment” standards.
“Mom do you think a place like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory could really exist ? Is it possible or is it just too made up to even be realistic?”
It was the answer to that question which sent me down a path, not unlike the yellow brick road, with Willy Wonka in hand to create an enhanced e-book adventure of Wonka size proportions.
Little did I know that on the journey into opening up the magical world of Willy Wonka that we would need to find our own golden tickets, no admittance allowed without one is what the sign said. That we would venture into South American jungles to discover where chocolate comes from and how gum is made. Soon we would taste the banks of the chocolate river and learn the secrets to making delectable Swudge, the minty grass which grows on the banks of the Chocolate River.
As we raced a pack of clothes changing Oompah Loompah’s down the croquet lawn, we can absolutely verify that they exist. I can also attest that hot chocolate definitely tastes better churned by waterfall.
Oompah Loompah’s are great game players. While the rest of the world is trying to let their gobstopper’s last forever, Oompah Loompah’s never put their gobstoppers in their mouths. Instead they play a series of games which occupy their “off” hours. My family and friends play these games often and prefer to save their gobstoppers forever so that we can eternally play our favorite games.
One cannot explore Willy Wonka’s incredible factory without knowing a thing or two about mazes to keep ones bearings. Again gobstoppers came to our rescue with a clever shoe box maze game, as well as learning how to walk through a piece of paper by cutting a scissor maze. Like Charlie we found ourselves stopping in the Fizzy Lifting drink room and gave our hand at making a few of our own fizzy concoctions and of course burping incredibly loud. We wouldn’t want finger prints on the ceilings would we?
After opening a few more doors down the hallowed hallways of the Chocolate Factory, I learned that square candies do look round and there are great games to be learned from the the squirrels in the Nut Room. We stopped in the Television Chocolate Room but are happy to announce there wasn’t any shrinking going on that day, so we came home the same size we entered. I did however, bring home a teleported version of Willy Wonka himself. It sits nicely on top of the piano.
There were a few more adventures to be had, not to mention a ride in the glass elevator. In the end we left with our newly created Willy Wonka top hats, marking the end of a wonderful journey we had all taken together.
After such an adventure I had learned there really aren’t any “untouchable” books, those perhaps are the books whose voices ring the loudest for us to come in and take an adventure with.
We are the creators of magical moments, magnificent candy, fun and nonsense, fizzy drinks, makers of Swudge, maneuverers of mazes, tower builders, but mostly adventurers at heart.
“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” Roald Dahl
Valarie Budayr is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden. She currently lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with her wonderful husband, three uber-creative children, and one adored cat. Valarie blogs at Jump into a Book.