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Sweet idea for Children’s Book Day

Tuesday 19th March

The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare is challenging children to design their dream chocolate bar in honour of a best-selling author who went to school in the resort.

International Children’s Book Day is on April 2 – in honour of the birthday of fairy tale creator Hans Christian Andersen.

But it’s another world-famous author of children’s books that the Grand Pier wants to celebrate, which is Roald Dahl.

Although born in Wales, Dahl attended the former St Peter’s Preparatory School in Shrubbery Road, Weston-super-Mare between the ages of nine and 13, and while the school was demolished in the 1970s, there is a blue plaque in the area in honour of the author.

Dahl has sold more than 250 million books worldwide, and one of his many popular titles was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, featuring the eccentric confectionary creator Willy Wonka.

The Grand Pier’s food and beverage manager Liz Kallias said: “In the books and films, Willy Wonka created such wonderful bars as the Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight and the Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar.

“Roald Dahl’s books were full of wonder and imagination, so we thought we would honour him, because of his local links, by challenging Weston’s children to use their imaginations and come up with their own idea for a Willy Wonka-style chocolate bar.

“It would be great if the children could come up with a name for their creation as well as provide some information about what might be in it, and what it might taste like.

“They could even create a wrapper for it if they want to.”

On Children’s Book Day on April 2, the Pier will announce the winning entries, and their creators will get to enjoy the sweet taste of success because they will win a chocolate hamper.

Entries should be sent to and should include the name and age of the creator, together with contact details for their parents/carers.

Entries should be submitted by noon on Tuesday 2 April and the winner will be announced at 2pm that day on the Pier’s Facebook page. The winner will need to collect their prize in person from the Pier.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published in 1964 and was followed by Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, which was published in 1972.

It is said that Dahl had planned to write a third book in the series, but never finished it.

The book inspired two movies, one in 1971 starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, and a Tim Burton film in 2005 starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.

Dahl is widely accredited for giving Weston-super-Mare it’s nickname ‘Weston-super-Mud’ and wrote in his autobiography that he did not enjoy his time at St Peter’s School but it is widely thought that his experiences in the resort provided inspiration for his books.

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