I grew up being read to as a child. Like many Americans, as a kid I went to the library and picked out new books to read and that was fun for me. The illustrations, the words, the characters could hold so much excitement, hope and beauty.
I have been reading Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my grade 8s this year. Teaching this book, I became re-enamoured with the talent of Roald Dahl. The kids loved listening to me read to them (most did not grow up being read to, books are hard to find here, and when you do find them, they are expensive) and following along. On the days when we couldn’t read Charlie, I had to field grumpy complaints. Why can’t we read today? When are we going to start again?
Having 45 learners in a class makes it challenging for this new teacher to keep order. However, on the days that I read Charlie aloud, you could often hear a pin drop in class. The illustrations, the descriptive words he weaves together, and the characters Roald Dahl created. It was just as much magic for them to listen as it was for me to see their faces engrossed, excited and filled with wonder. Learners who were often talkative trouble makers were asking me to borrow the book to take home and read ahead. Indeed, reading can change your life.
One of our writing assignments to accompany reading the book was to create a new character who would have a role in the novel. Here are the three best essays:
By Nina Erastus
My creation’s name is Robo-Recipe. This Robot is designed to give new recipes for chocolates and sweets. This robot gives ingredients and ideas which Mr. Wonka uses to make his chocolate and candy so delicious.
Mr. Wonka does not come up with his own ideas, it’s Robo who does. Mr. Wonka lies about him being the one creating the new recipes, it’s really Robo.
Robo-Recipe is blood red and she only functions if a chocolate milkshake is poured into her. Robo-Recipe was the first thing Mr. Wonka ever created before he came up with his chocolate factory. Robo-Recipe lived with Mr. Wonka for a long time.
Robo-Recipe wears a pink bow on her head and is very polite when she speaks. Robo is a candy lover just like Mr. Wonka. She stays on the top floor of the Chocolate Factory and is taken care of by the Oomp-loompas.
By Peter Richard
This is a boy that likes to wrap. Wrapper boy has a daily job in the chocolate factory. He wraps the chocolate bars. He is also an artist. The pretty drawings you see on the chocolate bars, that is the work of Wrapper boy.
Wrapper boy likes words like Whatsupp, YoYo, Hey Homie, etc.
Whenever Mr.Wonka wants to laugh he calls Wrapper Boy. Wrapper Boy likes to rap about funny stuff which makes him cool! He also wears funny shoes.
Wrapper Boy can also be quite naughty. That also what makes him so special to the Chocolate Factory and Mr. Wonka.
By Abigail Clarke
Mrs. Sweetlover is one of Mr. Willy Wonka’s most trustworthy workers. She helps Mr. Willy Wonka invent new delicious treats in his factory. Mrs. Sweetlover is a kind, helpful person who has long beautiful blonde hair that is made of bubble gum. Her eye colour is bright blue. Mrs. Sweetlover smells like sweets and loves to wear funny dresses with amazing shoes to match her outfit.
Mrs. Sweetlover loves to wear different colours each day of the week. On Monday she would wear a blue dress with a blue bow in her hair that smelled like blueberries. She designs the Oompa-Loompa’s clothes and Mr. Wonka’s too. Mrs. Sweetlover has a pet named Pea who is a talking doughnut that loves eating peas.
Mrs. Sweetlover used to live in France before she met Mr. Willy Wonka. She was a very well-known singer who loved to eat sweets. Those times were very hard for singers because of the war in France so she left her singing career and went to work for Mr. Willy Wonka.
Mrs. Sweetlover loves helping Mr. Willy Wonka invent a new lollipop called “Rainbow.” Every time you licked the lollipop it turned a different colour.