New 'creepy' cover of Roald Dahl classic backfires

Last updated 14:26 08/08/2014
Charlie
CREEPY: This Roald Dahl cover that has upset fans.
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The children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been given an adult makeover, appalling some fans of the book.

Penguin Books has rereleased Roald Dahl's best-known children's fantasy novel with a doll-like, pageant-worthy young girl on the cover.

Her well-coiffed hairdo, obvious make-up and blank expression have caused outrage on Twitter, where the cover has been described as "creepy" and  "grotesque".

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was rereleased for its 50th anniversary as a Penguin Modern Classic in an attempt to lure adult readers back to their favourite childhood books, The Telegraph reported. 

Joanne Harris, author of the best-selling Chocolat, was particularly vocal in her opposition to the new cover.

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

"Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get [convicted sex offender] Rolf Harris to design the next one?"

Penguin Books said the photograph, in which the girl is clad in pink feathers and perched on her mother's knee, represents the "twisted" parent-child relationships in Charlie.

"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," it said.

The revamped book follows the lead of the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series, which were rereleased with covers that would allow older readers to discreetly enjoy children's fiction in public.

- Stuff

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