And the winner is...

Posted by
Roald Dahl HQ
Posted on
7:00pm, 13th October

We asked you to vote for YOUR copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the book's 50th anniversary year. Guess which cover won...

In 2014, we're celebrating 50 whipple-scrumptious years of Roald Dahl's much-loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Over the past five decades, there have been some truly wonderful covers for this iconic story, illustrated by artists including Sir Quentin Blake, Joseph Schindelman, Faith Jacques, Michael Foreman, and many more.

So we wanted to know which cover YOU had (or have) on your bookshelf. With thousands of votes cast worldwide, we can now reveal that your most popular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover is...

THIS 1996 edition, illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, illustrated by Quentin Blake in 1996

The 'winning' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover as voted for by our Facebook fans was illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake in 1996 - a year in which Princess Diana and Prince Charles got divorced, Independence Day and Scream topped the movie charts (not to mention the film versions of Matilda and James and the Giant Peach), The Spice Girls debuted their first single, 'Wannabe,' and thousands of children across the world had this particular edition of Charlie on their bedside table.

With 29% of the overall vote, this cover was our clear winner - but interestingly for fans of Quentin Blake's distinctive style, Charlie was actually one of six Roald Dahl books not to have been illustrated by Quentin during Roald's lifetime. The story was first published in 1964 with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman, while Roald and Quentin didn't work together until 1978 when they collaborated on The Enormous Crocodile.

It wasn't until 1995 - five years after Roald's death - that Quentin's first drawings of Mr Wonka, Charlie Bucket and those terrible Golden Ticket holders were first published. 

We asked Quentin Blake about his memories of illustrating this iconic book. He said:

It was very interesting to illustrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It was one of the six books which were published before my collaboration with Roald Dahl had started and so it was different in various ways from the earlier books, for instance I was not able to talk to Roald about what he thought the characters looked like, although I could talk to Mrs Dahl. I had to develop my own ideas as if illustrating the book for the first time, when in fact, two or three other people had produced their own illustrations to it.

 - Sir Quentin Blake on illustrating Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for the first time.

The second and third most popular Charlie covers were (below, left to right) this 1985 edition illustrated by Michael Foreman (25% of the vote) and, fittingly, the very first edition of Charlie ever published - this 1964 edition illustrated by Joseph Schindelman.

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, illustrated by Michael Foreman and Joseph Schindelman

And, in this fascinating video, original Charlie illustrator Joseph Schindelman talks about his own memories of illustrating this iconic story.

Whichever edition of Charlie you've got on your bookshelf, we hope you'll join us in wishing this much-loved story a very Happy Birthday.