Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Facts About the Roald Dahl Book

Here are some facts about Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published by Alfred A. Knopf in the US in 1964. The first UK edition was published by George Allen & Unwin in 1967.
  • Roald Dahl loved chocolate and, as a child,  he used to receive packages from Cadbury for him to taste and then give them his opinions about the new chocolate bars.
  • In the UK version of the book, Charlie Bucket finds a 50p coin in the snow. In the US version, he finds a $1 bill.
  • J. K. Rowling named Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as one of her ten books every child should read.
  • The book has twice been made into a movie. In 1971, with the title Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder played the role of Willy Wonka. In 2005, Tim Burton directed another movie based on the book, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. There are many differences between the film versions and the Roald Dahl book itself.
  • The book has also been adapted for the stage on numerous occasions, been turned into a radio play, been the subject of several video games, and the inspiration for a 2006 ride at Alton Towers.
  • The completed first draft of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was much longer then the final version of the book. Several scenes were removed and many characters were changed or left out completely.


  • Some of the children who never appeared in the finished book are: Wilbur Rice, Tommy Troutbeck, Miranda Mary Piker, Augustus Pottle, Elivira Entwhistle, Clarence Crump and Bertie Upside.
  • Several rooms and sweets of the chocolate factory only appear in the early drafts of the book. These are: Spotty Powder (a sweet that gives you spots for a few hours so that you can get the day off school), The Vanilla Fudge Room, The Warming Candy Room and The Children’s-Delight Room.
  • The book sold 10,000 copies in the US in its first week of release.
  •  The Ooompa-Loompas were called Whipple-Scrumpets in one oft he book’s early drafts.
  • Quaker Oats released the Wonka Bar to coincide with the release of the 1971 film.
  • A sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released in 1972.It was called Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Roald Dahl started to write the third book in the series, Charlie in the White House, but is wasn’t completed before his death in 1990.
  • The story grew from a bedtime story Roald Dahl told his eldest children, Tess and Olivia.
  • Willy Wonka was originally named Mr. Ritchie.
  • It is believed that Roald Dahl threw out the very first draft of the book after his nephew told him it was rubbish.
  • Roald Dahl wanted Maurice Sendak to illustrate the book, but he was too busy. The book ended up being illustrated by Quentin Blake.

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