Imagine a golden ticket of your own to visit the charming chocolatier Mr. Willy Wonka at his mysterious, meritorious chocolate factory. That dream could come true in "My Golden Ticket", an inspired new book expanding Roald Dahl's confectionary conjecture with a personalised, custom-printed children's story.
Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", published in 1964, recounts the masticatory misadventures of young Charlie Bucket inside confectioner Willy Wonka's enticing establishment. Seen on stage and screen multiple times, it's one of the most beloved children's stories ever.
"My Golden Ticket" gives children a pass inside the famous factory for a fresh view of the story. When ordering the book, you type in a child's name and the name of the family member joining them on their gobstopper stopover.
Each child gets their own Oompa Loompa song, while the Candy Apple Family Tree traces the little'un's surname back through a lineage of dessert-themed descendants. In each room of Mr. Wonka's bonbon business, readers collect a flavour, texture or colour that's combined into their very own sweet treat at the end of the book -- with 9 billion possible permutations.
British publisher Wonderbly is creating the book in partnership with Roald Dahl's estate. Wonderbly was previously responsible for the customised childrens' books "Lost My Name" -- which used the letters of a child's name to create a unique story -- and "The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home", which connected to Bing maps to take the reader from outer space to their own front door.
"We offer deep sophisticated personalisation that goes way beyond slapping a child's name across the book," said Asi Sharabi, head Oompa-Loompa at Wonderbly. "When personalisation is approached with creativity and care it makes a child feel very special".
Dreamer of dreams
Roald Dahl was a spy, fighter pilot, chocolate historian and author of some of the world's most beloved stories. He wrote in a hut at the bottom of his Buckinghamshire garden surrounded by odds and ends like his own hipbone (which he'd had replaced) and a heavy ball of foil made from years of sweetie wrappers.
Dahl's early draft of "Charlie" included many more winning children than the five in the published story, such as Bertie Upside, Miranda Grope and Herpes Trout. He also conceived of a number of rooms that either weren't included in the book or were only briefly mentioned, and "My Golden Ticket" includes a tour of those areas, including Fudge Mountain, the Rock Candy Mine and the Vitaministry.
Wonderbly has also come up with some new sections of the factory, including the Great Flavour Fairground and the Outersweetosphere.
Illustrator Adam Hancher was inspired by sweets advertisements of the 1940s, '50s and '60s. The style also draws on the candy-coloured composition of filmmaker Wes Anderson, who adapted Dahl's "Fantastic Mr Fox" into a movie in 2009.
"My Golden Ticket" is available as a softcover for $28.99 or hardback for $35.99 in the US, or £19.99 and £25.99 in the UK. It's available to order now from Wonderbly.com. Because I've heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true…
Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here's your place for the lighter side of tech.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you -- and the world around you -- smarter.