Penguin Defends 'Creepy' Roald Dahl Cover
Publisher Penguin is standing by its decision to use an image of a doll-like girl for the cover of a new edition of Roald Dahl's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The image of a young girl wearing a pink fur coat and make-up has been criticised for its lack of relevance to the storyline of the classic.
Author Joanne Harris tweeted: "Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?"
Writer Lucy Coats, the author of more than 30 books for children, told The Bookseller: "It is sexualised and has nothing to do with the book."
Other people have called it "lewd", "bizarre" and "creepy".
A Penguin spokeswoman told Sky News the girl is not meant to represent any of the female characters in the book such as Veruca Salt.
The picture is used on the Penguin Modern Classic version of the book which is intended for adults and one of three editions of the novel being published to mark 50 years since it first came out.
The publisher said: "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."
The spokeswoman said the company is "happy to split opinions" and that they welcome the debate about the choice of picture.
Dahl's novel, which has inspired several film versions and a hit stage musical, was written in 1964 and follows the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Willy Wonka.