Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In a sublime bit of casting, comedic actor Idle delivers an inspired rendition of Dahl's classic novel, available for the first time as an unabridged recording (an abridged Caedmon edition, read by Dahl, was released in the 1970s). Using expert timing and a seemingly strong familiarity with the material, Idle wrings every note of humor from the author's colorful behind-the-scenes look at Willy Wonka's world-famous chocolate factory. During the course of a factory tour (whose participants were determined by a contest), honest, humble Charlie Bucket beats out four bratty, selfish children to become the heir to Wonka's wonderland. Readers new to Dahl, as well as longstanding admirers of the book or even the feature film starring Gene Wilder, will not want to miss Idle's interpretation of Wonka's whirlwind energy and "high and flutey" voice. Ages 6-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-Who doesn't know Dahl's story of poverty-stricken little Charlie Bucket who finds one of Willie Wonka's golden tickets and, along with four other children, gets a tour of his amazing chocolate factory? Each of the other children demonstrates a common childhood failing, to extreme-gluttony, greediness, excessive gum-chewing, and TV addiction. As, one by one, they fall prey to the factory's enticements, soon only Charlie is left and he gets the ultimate prize. What's not to love in a story that circles around niceness and chocolate? Listeners will find themselves once again rooting for Charlie as Douglas Hodge performs the book with vim, vigor, tons of expression, and the occasional sound effect. This is a joyous leap into a childhood classic that both children and adults will enjoy.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* No single title is more associated with Dahl than this one funny, then, that the iconic 1971 film version changed it to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Regrettable episode of fat-shaming aside (Augustus Gloop's reviled gluttony is wince-worthy), Dahl's classic-of-classics holds up tremendously well, with hairpin swerves and bizarro details turning each page into a wonder of idiosyncratic absurdity. For you poor saps who don't know the story, it stars hand-to-mouth ragamuffin Charlie Bucket, who beats stratospheric odds by finding one of the five Golden Tickets hidden inside Willy Wonka candy bars. The five finders are awarded with a lifetime candy supply and a tour of Wonka's chocolate factory led by the mad genius himself, who hasn't been seen in 10 years. Wonka is a uproarious character sharpened by a subtle, maniacal glee: his monolithic paragraphs of exclamation-pointed dialogue is simply too verbose for comfort. Meanwhile, the winning kids the aforementioned Gloop, the spoiled Veruca Salt, the gum-smacking Violet Beauregarde, the screen-obsessed Mike Teavee are roundly grotesque, and their rotten habits lead them to grotesque ends. (Who doesn't shudder when the Oompa-Loompas cart off the blueberry-inflated Violet to the Juicing Room?) Charlie is a dull goody-goody, of course, but he's just the boat in which we ride through this particular fun house, which is every bit as giddily subversive as it was 52 years ago.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book Review
BlakeÆs energetic black-and-white illustrations enliven and update DahlÆs cautionary rags-to-riches story, where impoverished, unassuming little Charlie Bucket outlasts the selfish other four candidates to win the grand prize: Willy WonkaÆs chocolate factory. The slapdash effect of the whimsical drawings matches WonkaÆs hyperactive speech and the generally frenetic narrative. From HORN BOOK Fall 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.