The publisher of a new edition of Charlie and Chocolate Factory has defended its decision to use a doll-like image of a young girl on the front cover.

Members of the public reacted angrily to the choice, branding it ‘misleading’ and ‘disturbing’.

Author Giles Paley-Phillips stated that the cover belonged on a book ‘more like Lolita’, while Joanne Harris, best-selling author of Chocolat, wrote on twitter: ‘Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?’

But Penguin claims that the image reflects ‘the light and the dark aspects’ of Dahl’s work.

‘This design is in recognition of the book’s extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children’s books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list.

‘This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl’s writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life,’ Penguin said in a statement.

The new adult edition, which will be released on September 4th, will coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, first published in 1964.

What do you think of the new cover? Is it creepy or inappropriate, or does it fit with the qualities of Roald Dahl’s writing? Share your views by commenting in the box below.

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