Posts Tagged ‘Children’s literature’

Today is Harry Potter Book Night!

I was so happy to hear that people are still celebrating the amazing world of Harry Potter, and holding events in Waterstones and so on!

Unfortunately, I’m not reading the books at the moment, or dressing up (I have no Potter costumes!), or going to an event. But I have been watching the Harry Potter films this week and, most appropriately, I started watching the final film this evening, so that seems a fitting way to spend this evening!

I am slightly obsessed with HP, although I haven’t joined Pottermore. I haven’t even ever done a quiz to find out what Hogwarts house I might be in. Until tonight!

The Guardian posted a special quiz on their website which sorts you into a house, and I got:

“Your house is…Ravenclaw! Well done! You’re a genius, ready to take after Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang! Well done, you little brainiac!”

I’m not sure I’m THAT clever but at least I’m not a Slytherin!

Hope you’re enjoying Harry Potter Book Night if you’re celebrating it!

Penguin recently posted a new cover for their new adult edition of a classic book on their Facebook page, and people started guessing which book it was for.

I was surprised and horrified to discover that the book in question turned out to be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, and that THIS is the cover:

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl (via the Guardian)

This is a rather sexualised image of a girl, who one imagines is meant to be Violet Beauregarde or Veruca Salt from the book, and it sends the wrong message about what the book is about. Don’t judge a book by its cover? How about judging a cover by its book?!

Unless it’s a supposedly clever marketing ploy which they are using to try to make girls read a book in which the protagonist is a boy by sticking a girl dressed in pink and a feather boa? If that is the case, then it’s a bit sexist assuming that all girls like pink and fluffy things.

Given that it’s aimed at adults, the inappropriate sexualisation of the girl is just plain wrong if it attracts men to reading it, and women would just find it bizarre.

I can see why people are saying that it’s creepy because the girl looks like a doll, and i’m not a fan of dolls! I was surprised that the Roald Dahl  Literary Estate actually approved this cover!

This cover makes it look like the novel focuses on the girls in the book, but the book is a about a BOY visiting a chocolate factory, the owner is a boy, and the girls don’t play that big a role in it!

Apparently, it is supposed to represent the twisted parent-child relationships in the book because of the 4 spoilt children who accompany Charlie into the chocolate factory. Ok, so they are a bit strange in the book, and there are some questionable aspects in the book (eccentric recluse of a man hides in his chocolate factory, making up strange sweets, is helped by what are essentially orange dwarves, who invites children into his factory and tests them to find his heir? Really?), but it seems odd to fixate on the relationships instead of the chocolate, Charlie or Willy Wonka himself.

I’ve never really tried to get all “English Student” on this book and rip it to shreds by pointing out all the dodgy stuff, but this cover just seems completely wrong for what is a delightful and entertaining novel.

Penguin, you’ve just ruined my childhood!


There is an article about this in the Guardian, and if you want to read it, click here.

J.K. Rowling posted a new short story about Harry Potter as an adult this week.

To see the piece, click this link:

I have to admit that I was disappointed in it. It’s written by Rita Skeeter, and she’s a horrible character so the piece is sort of awful written from her point of view. It’s just annoying gossip.

I also feel that we don’t need more stuff about Harry Potter: she should have stopped at the end of book 7 with the epilogue telling us about Harry waving off his kids on the Hogwarts Express. That was a good ending for the series and anything else just wrecks it! It was bad enough when Rowling told readers that she regretted making Ron and Hermione get married at the end!

Stop while you’re ahead, please! Don’t ruin what was an epic series with some naff little “newspaper” article!

Ok, so I am happy that we get a little bit more information about Harry’s later years, but it doesn’t really tell us anything new. It’s all very well doing the piece to tie in with the World Cup (which I really can’t stand anyway), but I feel short-changed by it. If you’re going to release extra information, it may as well be decent, and not a cop-out article written by one of the more annoying characters in the series.

Dare I point out that I find it slightly ironic that Rowling would post such a gossipy news article which doesn’t do Harry or the others any favours, when she attacked the newspapers who were accused of phone-hacking?

What did you think of this new story?