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There Is A New Cover For Roald Dahl's "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" And The Internet Hates It

The dark, subversive cover has been branded inappropriate and "sexualised".

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On Wednesday, Penguin Books released a new cover for Roald Dahl's classic children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Penguin

The cover is part of 50th anniversary celebrations for the book, and is printed under Penguin's Modern Classics range of books aimed at adults.

Much of the reaction has been strongly negative, with many branding the cover inappropriate.

There's no need to sexualise Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with that cover. Dahl was dark, but not that dark.

Leanna Byrne@Leanna_Byrne

There's no need to sexualise Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with that cover. Dahl was dark, but not that dark.

10:47 AM - 08 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

You know how it always looks like a book cover's designer's never read the book? @PenguinUKBooks #CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory @roald_dalh

Jane Carnall@EyeEdinburgh

You know how it always looks like a book cover's designer's never read the book? @PenguinUKBooks #CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory @roald_dalh

9:31 AM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Several prominent writers have spoken out against the cover, including Chocolat author Joanne Harris.

Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?

Joanne Harris@Joannechocolat

Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?

12:14 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I'm not sure why adults need a different cover anyway, but who was it who decided that "adult" meant "inappropriately sexualized"?

Joanne Harris@Joannechocolat

I'm not sure why adults need a different cover anyway, but who was it who decided that "adult" meant "inappropriately sexualized"?

12:19 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And The Crane Wife author Patrick Ness.

Just so we're clear, that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover is one of the biggest publishing mistakes ever. Hitler's Diaries bad.

Patrick Ness@Patrick_Ness

Just so we're clear, that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover is one of the biggest publishing mistakes ever. Hitler's Diaries bad.

7:12 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Many people found it creepy.

Remember that really famous part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the terrifying dolls? Nope. Me neither.

Daniel Jones@danieldjones

Remember that really famous part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the terrifying dolls? Nope. Me neither.

10:48 AM - 08 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@welovethisbook Jon Benet and the Chocolate Factory. Creepy. Not in a good way.

James Dawson@_jamesdawson

@welovethisbook Jon Benet and the Chocolate Factory. Creepy. Not in a good way.

4:39 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Some thought the cover was a spoof.

I thought the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (penguin modern classics) cover was legit a spoof when I saw it on facebook. Oh dear.

Laura Sneddon@thalestral

I thought the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (penguin modern classics) cover was legit a spoof when I saw it on facebook. Oh dear.

7:24 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@lesleyj28 hugely. When @StuartEvers tweeted it earlier I thought it was a spoof

Ern Malley@loveandgarbage

@lesleyj28 hugely. When @StuartEvers tweeted it earlier I thought it was a spoof

5:29 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And others compared it to Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.

Penguin's new cover for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" looks more like Nabokov's "Lolita". Ehm... connection between cover & content?

Steffi@AsphyxiaPallida

Penguin's new cover for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" looks more like Nabokov's "Lolita". Ehm... connection between cover & content?

10:57 AM - 08 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

If you haven't seen the new cover for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory check out @classicpenguins - seriously creepy. More like Lolita. Urgh.

Sarah Blohm@bloomer71

If you haven't seen the new cover for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory check out @classicpenguins - seriously creepy. More like Lolita. Urgh.

6:53 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Publishing protip: If readers confuse a book cover for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with "Lolita", not a very good CHILDREN'S design.

Georgia Dunn@pseudooctopus

Publishing protip: If readers confuse a book cover for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with "Lolita", not a very good CHILDREN'S design.

3:36 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Not all reactions were negative, with some praising the cover as having captured Dahl's subversive tone.

I like the new Dahl cover, not for a children's edition but think it works for a Penguin Classic. Captures the dark, unsettling nature.

Anna James@acaseforbooks

I like the new Dahl cover, not for a children's edition but think it works for a Penguin Classic. Captures the dark, unsettling nature.

3:25 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Love the new cover for #CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory by Penguin Modern Classics. Completely creepy, and taps into the darkness of the book.

Sarah Shaffi@sarahmedway

Love the new cover for #CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory by Penguin Modern Classics. Completely creepy, and taps into the darkness of the book.

4:43 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@PenguinUKBooks @roald_dahl Cover perfectly represents the bratty, spoiled children Dahl parodied so brilliantly.

It's John@odd_really

@PenguinUKBooks @roald_dahl Cover perfectly represents the bratty, spoiled children Dahl parodied so brilliantly.

4:52 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Much online anger for @PenguinUKBooks #charlieandthechocolatefactory cover. I love that it captures the story's darkness. Off to pre-order.

Caroline Smailes@Caroline_S

Much online anger for @PenguinUKBooks #charlieandthechocolatefactory cover. I love that it captures the story's darkness. Off to pre-order.

6:56 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@welovethisbook It's perfect. The sickly, candy pallette, the spoilt child at centre, mother almost cropped out. Subversive and brilliant.

Samuel@spjwhitwell

@welovethisbook It's perfect. The sickly, candy pallette, the spoilt child at centre, mother almost cropped out. Subversive and brilliant.

4:36 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

According to Creative Review, the cover uses a cropped version of this image from a 2008 issue of Numéro magazine.

Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello / Via numero-magazine.com

The picture was taken by the photographers Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello for an editorial spread titled "Mommie Dearest". (Scan via).

Penguin said: "This design is in recognition of the book's extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children's books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list.

"This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl's writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life."

Love the cover or hate it, everyone is certainly talking about it. So, job done?

@Patrick_Ness But EVERYONE is talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory now. They don't even have to print it to boost sales.

Sarah McIntyre@jabberworks

@Patrick_Ness But EVERYONE is talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory now. They don't even have to print it to boost sales.

7:13 PM - 07 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Slightly obsessed with the new Penguin Modern Classics 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' cover.

Melissa Clough@MelissaNClough

Slightly obsessed with the new Penguin Modern Classics 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' cover.

4:29 AM - 08 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Modern Classics edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hits shelves on 4 September.

h/t The Bookseller.

An earlier version of this article stated the new cover for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was released on Thursday (August 7th), it was actually released on Wednesday (August 6th). This post has been updated with the correct day.

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