Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

Yes, I know that song is from "Mary Poppins", but it seemed to aptly fit tonight's family activity: watching the 1971 version of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".

A few months back, we read the chapter book of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl to the girls. They were on edge while Charlie and his impoverished family were on the brink of starving, they were ecstatic when Charlie found the last Golden Ticket, and they were filled with wonder of the fantasy-filled rooms in the mysterious Wonka Chocolate Factory.

I am delighted to share with you that the girls were equally captivated by the movie. I was impressed that even several months after we had read them the novel, they recalled so many details. B told us that they didn't show the room where 'the square candies look round' , and M noticed that they didn't have the room where the squirrels sorted the good nuts from the bad nuts. (FYI: Wikipedia has a long list of other rooms that are mentioned in the book, but which were not visited by Charlie and the other guests.)

On occasion, the girls do ask for popcorn when they have friends over to watch a movie. But since we're not a family that has regular movie nights, they didn't even ask for popcorn tonight. Instead, to 'sweeten' their movie experience, just when Willy Wonka opens the doors to the chocolate room, I treated the family to a scrumdidilyumptious selection of confections. (Am I beginning to sound like Willy Wonka himself?)

While searching for a few pictures to add to this post, I also learned a cool tidbit about Roald Dahl's inspiration for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. According to Wikipedia, the story's origin was based on the feuding of the top two British chocolate companies during Dahl's schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on new products. At that time (around the 1920s) Cadbury and Rowntree's often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies into the other's factory, posing as employees. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.

My two aren't about to steal any secret recipes from the big players in the world of chocolate making. But they are willing to sample their wares at every possible opportunity. Hope you enjoy a sweet moment with your family.


  1. One of my very favorite books (and movies) from childhood :)

    The edition of the book that you have looks as if it has very cool illustrations!

    - rumblegirl
    (from Swap-Bot)

  2. I loved this book when I was young and I still do. Great movie too! My Mother used to make us candy I especially loved her secret lollipops. This is Glenna aka glennasgarden on Swap bot you are my partner for I'm a Blogger, Follow Me!!! I will be following you. Stay sweet and have a wonderful day!

  3. I LOVED Those 2 books as a child. When my step son liked the original charlie and the chocolate factory i was so excited, until about the 100th time we watched it, then i have to sadly say not only could i repeat the movie, but i discovered i cringed when it played, as it has not played for a while another watch is in order

  4. What a fun tidbit you found on the two candy companies. The last bit of candy I bought before I left Ireland was from Rowntree. I always buy Cadbury, but this was my first purchase of Rowntree. They are fantastic.

    You have such a fun blog. You're one of my partners in Swap-bots "I'm a Blogger, Follow Me!!!" swap. I'm really excited about all the people I'm following now. I have found myself going on to read other blogs through this as well..

    Happy blogging. Take care!