Just about everyone reading this review will have heard of Roald Dahl. And there can be very few people anywhere who have not come across "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". This originally saw the light of day as a book written by Roald Dahl in 1964. In 1971 the story was turned into "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory", a classic film starring the late, great, Gene Wilder, and in 2005 it was released in film form again, this time under the original title of the book and starring Johnny Depp. The story has also been presented as a radio series in the early 1980s; as a video game in 2005; as part of the Alton Towers theme park in 2006; as an opera in 2010; and as a West End musical since 2013 that looks set to move to Broadway in 2017.
For those who have been on Mars since 1964, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tells the story of... Well, perhaps there's a better way of doing this, and let's start by calling the book by the name given on the title of this edition: "Chairlie and the Chocolate Works: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Scots" by Roald Dahl, Matthew Fitt and Quentin Blake. As the publishers say: "When Mr Wullie Wonka invites five bairns ben intae his warld-famous chocolate factory, some o them turn oot tae be spoilt wee bampots. For Chairlie Baffie, the tour o Wonka’s chocolate works is the adventure o a lifetime. Has Violet Boakregarde bitten aff mair than she can chaw? Will Mike Teeveeheid finally end up on TV? Will Chairlie go UP AND OOT in Wullie Wonka’s Muckle Gless Lift? Find oot in Matthew Fitt’s gallus new Scots translation o Roald Dahl’s classic story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
For those unfamiliar with its status, it is worth noting that Scots is widely regarded to be a separate language rather than a dialect, especially amongst those who speak it, and it is certainly not just English written with a Scottish accent. Having said that, Scots is much more likely to be encountered as a spoken language than as a written one, so the publication in recent times of a number of widely-loved children's classic that have been translated into Scots is something that is wholeheartedly to be welcomed. Black & White Publishing have published a series of Roald Dahl's classic books in Scots language editions to coincide with the 2016 centenary of his birth, and this is one of them. Our grandson, aged six, has been full of stories recently about the primary school project he is doing on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". He's had the book read to him, and read it for himself, and seen the film, and written about it. We are very much looking forward to seeing what he makes of a book he knows intimately when it is written in Scots, and whether it provides a way into the language for him.