Okay Sequel, Featuring Space Aliens and Youth Potions,
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This review is from: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Paperback)
I've just read this out loud to my six-year-old daughter, and though it's not as good as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", she enjoyed it and laughed at the jokes.
The story's in two parts. The first half deals with the Glass Elevator shooting off the Earth into space, and Mr Wonka saving a new American space hotel from being attacked by man-eating aliens. This leads to lots of radioed messages to the President of the United States, and a slew of jokes about the leaders of other nations, in a way that's a wee bit politically incorrect today. One of the aliens sustains a large bruise on its bottom in the attack.
The Glass Elevator then returns to Earth and crashes back through the roof of the Chocolate Factory. Mr Wonka wants Charlie's aged grandparents to get out of their bed and help Charlie run the factory, but they excuse themselves because they are so old. Mr Wonka gives them some pills he's invented to make them young, and when they take too much, he uses another drug to make them old again. This part really did capture my imagination when I was a child reading it, but it does utilise negative numbers in its arithmetic, which most junior school children won't have learnt yet - I now have to sit down with my daughter and a number line chart, and explain it to her, because she's asking so many questions on the subject.
It's a fun, lively read, but it's only still being read because it's the sequel to such a classic book. Age 8+ years, if they're reading it themselves.