The new cover for Roald Dahl’s classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the worst book cover ever, according to The Guardian. The cover features a colorful photograph of a well-groomed, Barbie-like little girl sitting on a woman’s lap. No Charlie. No chocolate. No shiny golden ticket.
The image has many Dahl fans scratching their heads. Based on the hundreds of comments left on Penguin’s Facebook page, no one seems to get how the image relates to the story. Some say it looks more like something for Valley of the Dolls or Lolita. But the new cover could be this year’s most clever PR strategy. Insiders of the young adult publishing world know that girls have “overtaken boys in the literacy stakes when it comes to reading, both in their ability to understand what they read and in their tendency to read for pleasure.” Do you think the average 8-year-old girl wants to receive a book with a boy and an old man on the cover, or a pretty girl all made up?