This was one of the stories that enthralled me as a child, and now I have the privilege of sharing that joy with my two sons. Samuel, who is five, insisted that we read this book during his mid-year holidays and could happily have listened to it in one sitting. The quirky illustrations by Quentin Blake complement Dahl’s own idiosyncratic style. I loved his description of Willy Wonky in Chapter 14: “And oh, how clever he looked! How quick and sharp and full of life! He kept making jerky little movements with his head, cocking it this way and that, and taking everything in with those bright twinkling eyes. He was like a squirrel in the quickness of his movements, like a quick clever old squirrel from the park.”
I bought my copy of the book when I was single and working in London at Marks & Spencer for seven quid – priceless, really, when you consider how much this treasure is really worth.