55. James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Illustrated by Lane Smith

Pages: 126
Finished: Mar. 18, 2008
First Published: 1961
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First Sentence:

Here is James Henry Trotter when he was about four years old.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my 7yo. I also chose this for the 1960s in the Decades Challenge.

Comments: James is an orphan and is sent to live with his two awful aunts. James is terribly lonely. One day a strange man gives him some magic elements in a little sack but as James goes to mix his magical concoction he trips and spills it all under the dead peach tree. The tree grows a giant peach and James climbs inside. There he and the insectoid residents set off in the peach for a wonderful journey. This is your typical Dahl with the most hilariously mean and nasty adults and exaggerated humour. For this umpteenth re-read I don't really find it as funny as I used to but the 7yo loved it, though he did make me skip over the songs. He's looking forward to watching the movie this week too. As a read-aloud you simply can't go wrong with anything by Dahl. This edition is illustrated by Lane Smith and I hated the illustrations. I really can't stand it when original illustrations are replaced and "updated", to me it is the same as a classic being 'adapted'. I'll be looking for a replacement copy with the wonderful illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.


  1. I loved this book when I was a child. I think we can suspend belief better when were younger. I don't know if I would like it as an adult, but I recently added it to my TBR.

  2. This was one of my favorites growing up. Dahl's books are so strange and full of imagination and wonder in a way that is unlike many other children's fantasy stories. I'm hoping to re-read his books soon.


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