Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: fiction, kid’s lit
Year Published: 1961
Source: public library
Reason for Reading: Roald Dahl Day; Years of Books Goal (1961)
Book Description (back of book):
When James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit, and when he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of oversized friends–Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in his aunts’ house, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the adventure begins!
My Thoughts: I think this was a great little read. It surprises me sometimes to read books in a few hours as a grown-up that would have taken a few days as a younger child. This is one of Dahl’s books that I previously had not read. Or had it read to me. It amazes me, however, how Dahl so often includes people who are bad (like James’ aunts in this book) being punished. But he never seems to make it seem too gruesome for the children who are inevitably the readers (most of the time, anyways). I always liked the little bit of nonsensical elements Dahl includes, such as the giant peach being hoisted into the air by 502 seagulls or giant insects.
My Thoughts on the Cover: It is pretty self-explanatory of the novel. But what I like most is Quentin Blake’s illustrations–they belong with any Dahl book, in my opinion :)