James and the Giant Peach
Roald dahl , quentin blake ( illustrator ).
176 pages, Hardcover
First published November 1, 1961
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“I'd rather be fried alive and eaten by Mexicans.”
Come right up close to me and I will show you something wonderful.
We are now about to visit the most marvelous places and see the most wonderful things!
«Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had a happy life. He lived peacefully with his mother and father in a beautiful house beside the sea. There were always plenty of other children for him to play with, and there was the sandy beach for him to run about on, and the ocean to paddle in. It was the perfect life for a small boy»
My daughter and I continue our journey in Roald Dahl 's world. You can't really go wrong with him.
«Fino all'età di quattro anni, James Henry Trotter ebbe una vita felice. Viveva tranquillo con sua madre e suo padre in una bella casa sul mare. C’erano sempre molti bambini con cui giocare e c’era la spiaggia di sabbia dove scorrazzare e l’oceano per andarci in canotto. La vita ideale, per un bambino»
Continua il viaggio familiare mio e di mia figlia nel mondo di Roald Dahl . Con lui si va sul sicuro.
“I’d rather be fried alive and eaten by a Mexican!”
Join Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Taika Waititi as he reads James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, in full across 10 episodes, to raise money for @Partners In Health at: http://www.pih.org/giantpeach
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“…Try reading it out loud. That’s what I do. I read the whole book out loud, seven or eight times…four or five times… before it ever goes to edit. I believe that writing was made to be heard.” John Darnielle joins us on the show to talk about the structure and the shifting perspectives of his new […]
When it comes to novels written for kids featuring characters who are kids, Roald Dahl ranks among the best of the best, sharing the status of all-time great with the likes of Beverly Clearly, Judy Blume, and J.K. Rowling. The British author (1916–1990) wrote enough classics to keep a fifth grader busy for months, specializing […]
Shelf Improvement is a monthly column that features three books guaranteed to improve your library and your life. From literary fiction, young adult, and humor, to spirituality, autobiography, and more, no genre is off limits. The only requirement of the selections featured here is they must be transformative and page-turning. If you’re hoping to build a better bookshelf, […]
Roald Dahl knew how to capture the imaginations of children, and he always respected them as readers. His books often take extreme plot twists, conveying how dramatic ordinary events can appear to a kid, and how capricious, mysterious, and unfair adults can seem. In painting with broad strokes, Dahl makes life feel true to kids, who […]
This month, a very big kidlit-to-film adaptation came galloping into theaters: Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited take on Roald Dahl’s classic, The BFG. And thanks to a loyal script and Spielberg’s willingness to leave the signature darkness of Dahl’s stories pretty much intact, the big-screen version of The BFG is, by all accounts, a whizz-popping good time. […]
James And The Giant Peach
46 pages • 1 hour read
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James and the Giant Peach , by British author Roald Dahl was first published in 1961. This critically acclaimed children’s novel was made into an award-winning film in 1996. Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales and, in addition to writing both children and adult literature, he was a poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. He is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest storytellers and has sold more than 250 million copies of his books worldwide.
His literature awards include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards Children's Author of the Year in 1990. Dahl's children's books are known for their unsentimentally, surreal visuals, and darkly comic style . Dahl loved children, and his children's books often champion the kindhearted and feature heroic young protagonists. His other works for children include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, The Twits, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me , and George’s Marvelous Medicine .
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At the tender age of four, James Trotter’s idyllic life is turned upside down when his parents are eaten by an escaped rhinoceros in London. James is sent to live with his aunts, Spiker and Sponge, in a house on the top of a steep hill. After three years of isolation and abuse, James meets a little old man in the garden who gives him a bag of magical crocodile tongues. Before he can eat them, James trips, and all the green tongues wriggle into the earth by an old peach tree. James is devastated, believing that his chance of happiness is lost, but suddenly a peach grows on the barren tree.
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Spiker and Sponge dance for joy as they watch the peach grow to the size of a small house, and they are soon making money by charging people to visit their miracle peach. James is not allowed to join in the fun and is sent outside at night to clean up after the visitors. Even though he is terrified, some wonderful magic draws James to the giant peach, where he finds a tunnel that leads through the ripe flesh to the stone. In the stone, James finds a door, and behind the door he meets a large grasshopper, Old-Green-Grasshopper; a giant spider, Miss Spider; a huge, loving Ladybug; a very big, sassy Centipede, a worrywart Earthworm; a sleepy Silkworm; and, a gigantic Glowworm, who lights their new home in the peach stone. The crocodile tongues meant for James worked their magic on the insects and the peach tree instead.
Initially petrified, James soon discovers that these giant insects are friendly and were waiting for him to join them on a mission to escape from their miserable life on the hilltop. Centipede chews through the peach stalk, freeing the peach, which rolls over Spiker and Sponge, squashing them flat. The peach rolls all the way to, and over, the famous white cliffs in England and plunges into the ocean, where the happy travelers float and their new life begins.
On their fantastical journey, James and his new friends have many highs and lows. Sharks attack the peach, but clever James comes up with a plan to lasso seagulls using Miss Spider and Silk-worm’s silk to lift them into the sky like a balloon. The plan works, and they sail all the way to New York, meeting angry Cloud-Men and seeing scary night creatures along the way. Despite their fears and hardships, the travelers are optimistic and enjoy each other’s company. They sing, dance, and share stories, forming deep bonds of love and friendship. The trust and support the friends have for each other help James overcome the sadness and loneliness he endured during the years of isolation and abuse he suffered with Spiker and Sponge.
When the giant peach lands in New York City, the sight of the giant insects creates panic and fear, both in police and fire officers and the citizens of New York. James, with his characteristic intelligence, heartfelt kindness, and humor, quells these fears. Not only do the people of New York accept the travelers with open arms, they hail them as heroes. The giant insects all become successful and happily settle in New York City. James’s story also has a happy ending—the peach stone becomes his house in Central Park, where hundreds of children visit him every day, clamoring to hear his stories and providing him with the playmates he desperately missed. He decides to write the entire adventure as a book, which he calls James and the Giant Peach.
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By Roald Dahl
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James and the Giant Peach
Common sense media reviewers.
Lonely boy's magical adventure still satisfies.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Like Roald Dahl's other great children's novels, J
Dahl was a master at creating these fantastical Di
There are some mean grownups in this book, but Jam
The demise of James' parents happens before the ac
On two occasions, Centipede calls other characters
Parents need to know that James and the Giant Peach creates a marvelous, fantastical world for young independent readers. Dahl's original cast of characters, magical and suspenseful situations, and his liberal addition of comic poetry also make this a terrific read-aloud book. However, Dahl's books are not…
Like Roald Dahl's other great children's novels, James and the Giant Peach is really meant to entertain and uplift, not necessarily to educate. Dahl did throw in a few fascinating facts about insects and animals (ladybugs eat garden pests, and so are considered farmer's helpers, for example), but young readers might not necessarily separate the true from the fantastic, such as the "cloudmen" who send rain and hail down to earth.
Dahl was a master at creating these fantastical Dickensian situations, in which a poor, deserving but unloved child's life is magically transformed. The positive message here is primarily that, as the old man tells James, "marvelous things" can happen. It's also worth noting the way James overcomes his fear of the insects once he sees past their shocking size and appearance. You can't judge a book by its cover, in other words.
Positive Role Models
There are some mean grownups in this book, but James is an upstanding little boy: good, kind, clever, and resourceful. James and his insect pals also show how teamwork -- with everyone contributing his or her special talent -- can save the day.
Violence & Scariness
The demise of James' parents happens before the action in the novel begins, and that is probably the only event in the novel that could be upsetting to children. James' cruel aunts, Sponge and Spiker, beat him often, but that action is not shown. Later, the peach itself leaves some destruction in its wake, and sharks and the weather-making cloudmen threaten harm, but this is all within the realm of fantasy.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
On two occasions, Centipede calls other characters "asses."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that James and the Giant Peach creates a marvelous, fantastical world for young independent readers. Dahl's original cast of characters, magical and suspenseful situations, and his liberal addition of comic poetry also make this a terrific read-aloud book. However, Dahl's books are not always warm-and-fuzzy: James is orphaned on Page One, and he is treated cruelly by his selfish aunts. And, incidentally, his only true friends are giant insects. This is a charming, fast-paced fantasy for children who are ready to separate fact from fiction. If your kids enjoy the novel, also check out Tim Burton and Henry Selick's wonderful animated film adaptation , which came out in 1996.
Where to Read
- Parents say (8)
- Kids say (18)
Based on 8 parent reviews
More swear words and mature concepts than I expected
What's the story.
When young James Henry Trotter is orphaned, he must leave his pleasant home by the seaside and go to live with two cruel aunts, Sponge and Spiker, who treat him like a slave. One day, an old man appears, offering James a bag of crystals that he says will make marvelous things happen. The old man's magic causes a dead peach tree to grow a piece of fruit the size of a house, and that is the start of James' fantastic adventure.
Is It Any Good?
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is a delightful children's novel full of adventure and singular characters. As in many of the great Roald Dahl's works, the central character is a poor, deprived child, and seeing James Henry Trotter rise from his lowly state to become a leader with true friends is immensely satisfying. Dahl also weaves funny singsong poetry into his fantastical tale, which helps make the book wonderful to read aloud.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how at first the insects inside the peach frighten James, but he quickly learns to see past their unusual looks and makes friends. Also, each of the insects has a particular talent. What is special about each one? Which one is your favorite?
James' aunts are very cruel to him. Kids' books often have villains who are mean to the main character. Why do you think that is? What does it do to the story?
- Author : Roald Dahl
- Illustrator : Quentin Blake
- Genre : Fantasy
- Topics : Magic and Fantasy
- Book type : Fiction
- Publisher : Puffin Books
- Publication date : January 1, 1961
- Publisher's recommended age(s) : 9 - 12
- Number of pages : 146
- Last updated : July 12, 2017
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James and the Giant Peach
Everything you need for every book you read..
Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
James and the Giant Peach: Introduction
James and the giant peach: plot summary, james and the giant peach: detailed summary & analysis, james and the giant peach: themes, james and the giant peach: quotes, james and the giant peach: characters, james and the giant peach: symbols, james and the giant peach: theme wheel, brief biography of roald dahl.
Historical Context of James and the Giant Peach
Other books related to james and the giant peach.
- Full Title: James and the Giant Peach
- When Written: 1960–1961
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1961
- Literary Period: Postmodernism
- Genre: Children’s Novel; Fantasy
- Setting: England, New York City, and the sky above the Atlantic Ocean
- Climax: The peach falls from the sky and gets skewered by the Empire State Building in New York City.
- Antagonist: Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker
- Point of View: Third Person
James and the Giant Peach
By roald dahl, james and the giant peach study guide.
James and the Giant Peach was written in 1961 and was well received by the public. Originally titled James and the Giant Cherry , the book was given a new name because Dahl deemed a peach to be "prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry." The text was originally illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, but later editions featured other illustrators. James and the Giant Peach was Dahl's second published narrative for children, but the book contains references to stories that he later wrote and published, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator , and The BFG .
While Dahl's book received great praise for the most part, James and the Giant Peach was also banned in some areas of the world for allegations such as sexual innuendo, profanity, racism, frightening content, and its supposed promotion of disobedience, drugs, and communism. It ranks #56 on the American Library Association's top 100 list of most controversial and frequently-challenged books.
The book was later converted into a popular animated movie, James and the Giant Peach , which was released in 1996.
James and the Giant Peach Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for James and the Giant Peach is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Why author used word grinning to describe centipede face?
I think it gives added detail to the centipede. It gives personality. The smile would cover his whole face!
What happened, while james was running back towards the house?
While running, James tripped on the roots of the ancient peach tree and the bag broke. The tiny green things landed on the ground and, as James frantically tried to gather the crystals, they sunk into the ground and burrowed into the soil.
Study Guide for James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach study guide contains a biography of Roald Dahl, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
- About James and the Giant Peach
- James and the Giant Peach Summary
- Character List
Lesson Plan for James and the Giant Peach
- About the Author
- Study Objectives
- Common Core Standards
- Introduction to James and the Giant Peach
- Relationship to Other Books
- Bringing in Technology
- Notes to the Teacher
- Related Links
- James and the Giant Peach Bibliography
Wikipedia Entries for James and the Giant Peach
- Plot summary
- 2023 censorship controversy
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James And The Giant Peach | Roald Dahl | Book Review
I like to start off my participation in every Dewey 24 Hour Readathon by reading a Roald Dahl book. My first book for the April 2013 Readathon was James And The Giant Peach . Of course, because I am lazy as heck, I’ve waited until September to review this whimsical, awesome book that was one of my childhood favorites. Also? Remember the movie? That was so awesome and I think I need to revisit it like right now and you know put my review off for even LONGER! Anyways, first things first, I totally read James In The Giant Peach in under an hour because I am a bit of a super reader AND because it’s fast pacing and interesting and one of my favorites.
The plot of James And The Giant Peach is one that I totally remember months after reading, heck even years after reading this for the first time. Basically James lives with the meanest aunts ever, because his parents died when he was very, very young. One day, he obtains some magical crystals, I think, and accidentally spills them on this peach tree. From there, a peach grows to be the biggest ever seen. His awful Aunts Spiker and Aunt Sponge decide to charge admission to people wanting to see the peach and let James see none of the profits. THEN James ends up crawling inside of the peach, meets some human sized bugs and is rolling off into the horizon to better days. And really, that’s the story, well plus his journey with the peach.
Obviously I loved James Henry Trotter. He’s a plucky orphan, what is not to love. I also LOLed at the mean aunts because I am an awful human being. There was one bug that I found super annoying, the centipede. He’s selfish and a total jerk. Ugh. I am just annoyed thinking about it. OHHHHHH and there are some seagulls in the adventure and of course they were my favorite part of the whole book, you’ll see when you read it or remember it.
James And The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is a fun, short adventure about an orphan who overcomes terrible circumstances with the help of magic and some bugs that actually are not scary. If you’ve got a small child in your life, I highly recommend you read this one to them. Also! I am just going to put out there that my version did not have Quentin Blake illustrations which is a bit of a disappointment, I need to get an edition that has his illustrations. Seriously, Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake are a match made in heaven and it’s just weird reading a version that doesn’t have the Blake illustrations, even if the illustrations were perfectly nice in my version.
Disclosure: Purchased Copy.
Other reviews of James And The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl:
A Reader Of Fictions – “ he has imagination and humor like no other ”
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever read this book or only seen the movie… XD Either way, the story’s good!
I absolutely adore the work of Roald Dahl, so I was extremely excited when I saw your review today 😀 I’ve read The Witches more times than I can count, and while James and the Giant Peach isn’t one of my personal favourites, I never fail to marvel at Dahl’s seemingly endless creativity. As you mentioned, it’s nearly impossible to forget his novels months or even years after you’ve read them because Dahl’s concepts are alway so outlandish and ingenuously bizarre. I also appreciate that they’re a little darker than middle grade fiction traditionally tends to be. I like stories with a little bit of bite, and you never feel as though Dahl was ‘dumbing down’ his concepts simply because he was writing for a younger target audience, which I appreciate immensely.
This was a wonderful review, April, and you made me want to dust off all of my Dahl novels and re-read them immediately. I would pretend to be angry if I weren’t so excited and inspired 😛
I got all nervous for a sec that I had missed the Dewey readathon this year-I thought it was in October and I really want to participate in one as I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years without doing so. But then you shared that this was from April. I like your idea of starting with a Dahl book and may borrow that idea for my own experience.
I remember loving this book as a kid and reading it often. Most of the plot escapes me now though. Can’t believe it was ever a banned books.
Yeah, the Centipede! That guy’s such a jerk, but at least he knows he’s a jerk. Meanwhile this book left a permanent mark on me in that I find it very very difficult to kill spiders. I always think of James’s song about spiders and how helpful and good they are.
(Centipedes no. I killed a centipede the other day and I felt horror at its grossness but zero remorse.)
Hmmm, I did not like this one as much as an adult. SAD DAY. Probably I should have let it remain there. I always want to revisit, but sometimes I end up ruining books for myself. Like The Giver and Madaleine L’engle.
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James and the Giant Peach
By roald dahl illustrated by lane smith, category: children's middle grade action & adventure.
Apr 01, 1996 | ISBN 9780140374247 | 5-1/16 x 7-3/4 --> | Middle Grade (8-12) | ISBN 9780140374247 --> Buy
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Apr 01, 1996 | ISBN 9780140374247 | Middle Grade (8-12)
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About James and the Giant Peach
From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG ! Roald Dahl was a champion of the underdog and all things little—in this case, an orphaned boy oppressed by two nasty, self-centered aunts. How James escapes his miserable life with the horrible aunts and becomes a hero is a Dahlicious fantasy of the highest order. You will never forget resourceful little James and his new family of magically overgrown insects—a ladybug, a spider, a grasshopper, a glowworm, a silkworm, and the chronic complainer, a centipede with a hundred gorgeous shoes. Their adventures aboard a luscious peach as large as a house take them across the Atlantic Ocean, through waters infested with peach-eating sharks and skies inhabited by malevolent Cloudmen, to a ticker-tape parade in New York City. This happily ever after contemporary fairy tale is a twentieth-century classic that every child deserves to know. And Lane Smith’s endearingly funny illustrations are a perfect match for the text. “All the gruesome imagery of old-fashioned fairy tales and a good measure of their breathtaking delight.” — Kirkus Reviews “A stunning book, to be cherished for its story, a superb fantasy.” — The Chicago Tribune “The most original fantasy that has been published in a long time…[it] may well become a classic.” — San Francisco Chronicle
Also by Roald Dahl
About Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was born in Llandaff, South Wales, and went to Repton School in England. His parents were Norwegian, so holidays were spent in Norway. As he explains in Boy, he turned down the idea of university in favor of a… More about Roald Dahl
About Lane Smith
Lane Smith is a five-time recipient of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award and a two-time Caldecott Honor recipient. In 2012 the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art named him a Carle Artist for “lifelong innovation in… More about Lane Smith
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“This newly-illustrated edition of an avowed children’s favorite has all the makings of a classic match-up: Milne had Shepard, Carroll had Tenniel, and now Dahl has Smith…author and illustrator were made for each other, and it’s of little consequence that it took almost 35 years for them to meet” — Kirkus .
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James and the Giant Peach: A Kid-Friendly Book Summary
By Lily | Published 5 September 2022 | Goodreads Rating 4.03 | This post may contain affiliate links.
James and the Giant Peach" is a classic children's novel by Roald Dahl. It tells the story of a young boy named James Henry Trotter who embarks on a fantastical adventure with his insect friends aboard a gigantic peach. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and learn valuable lessons about friendship, courage, and self-confidence.
Children will love James and the Giant Peach for its adventure and excitement, as well as its humorous and quirky characters. To extend the reading fun, be sure to download the free activity booklet from Reading Quests and try some of the James and the Giant Peach-themed activities … fun for the whole family!
We are now about to visit the most marvelous places and see the most wonderful things!
Why Read James and the Giant Peach?
James and the Giant Peach, written by the renowned author Roald Dahl, is a classic children's fantasy novel that has delighted readers of all ages since its publication in 1961. The story is filled with adventure, magic, and unforgettable characters, making it a perfect book for children to immerse themselves in.
The story teaches valuable lessons about friendship, courage, and the power of teamwork, making it a timeless and enriching reading experience for kids. This book is also a great way to introduce children to the world of literature and instil in them the love for reading.
The Main Characters: Who are they and what are they like?
1. James Henry Trotter - James is the main character of the story, an orphan boy who lives with his cruel aunts. James is kind, curious, and brave, but also sad and lonely due to the mistreatment he receives from his aunts until he embarks on an incredible journey inside a giant peach.
2. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker - James's selfish and abusive aunts who mistreat him and treat him as a burden.
3. The Old Man - A mysterious old man who gives James magical crocodile tongues, setting the stage for the story's fantastical events.
4. The Insect Friends - The other main characters are a group of human-sized insects that James meets inside the magical giant peach. They include a group of larger-than-life insects who accompany James on his adventure, including Miss Spider, Mr. Centipede, Mr. Grasshopper, Mr. Earthworm, Mrs. Ladybug, Mr. Glowworm, and the Silkworm. Each insect has its unique personality and skills, and they all become James's loyal friends and allies.
The Plot: What the story’s about
James and the Giant Peach tells the story of James Henry Trotter, a young boy who lives with his wicked aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, after his parents are killed in a tragic accident. One day, James meets a mysterious old man who gives him magical crocodile tongues. When James accidentally spills the tongues near a peach tree in his aunts' garden, a single peach begins to grow to enormous proportions.
James enters the giant peach and discovers a group of friendly, talking insects who quickly become his friends. Together, they embark on a thrilling adventure across the Atlantic Ocean and through the sky, facing obstacles and dangers along the way. Their adventures take them to far-off lands and ultimately lead them to New York City, where they become heroes and find a new home in Central Park. Through their journey, they learn the importance of friendship, courage, and teamwork.
Key Themes: What lessons can be learned from the book
James and the Giant Peach teaches children many valuable lessons that include:
1. Friendship - James forms deep bonds with the insects, and together they support and care for each other throughout their journey.
2. Courage - Despite facing numerous challenges and fears, James and his friends display bravery and resilience, overcoming obstacles and growing stronger as a result.
3. Teamwork - Each character has unique skills and talents, and they learn to work together to achieve their goals, demonstrating the power of collaboration and unity.
4. Imagination – The book encourages readers to embrace their creativity and follow their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. There is magic in the world if we look for it.
5. Perseverance : It also emphasizes the idea that even when life is tough, it’s important to face your fears. There is always hope for a better future.
Why Kids Will Love It
Kids will love this book because of its imaginative story, whimsical characters, and valuable lessons. The magical world inside the giant peach, filled with talking insects and exciting adventures, will capture their attention and spark their curiosity. The story's humor, colorful language, and lively illustrations by Quentin Blake make it an entertaining read that kids will enjoy and cherish.
1. Vocabulary and Language - The book features rich language and imaginative descriptions, making it an excellent resource for teaching new vocabulary and encouraging children to express themselves creatively.
2. Character Development - As the story unfolds, each character learns and grows, offering opportunities for discussions about the importance of personal growth and the impact of our actions on others.
3. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking - Throughout their journey, James and his friends face various challenges that require them to think critically and work together to find solutions, providing valuable lessons on problem-solving and decision-making.
Conclusion: To Wrap Things Up
James and the Giant Peach is a beloved classic that has captivated readers for generations. With its unforgettable characters, enchanting story, and valuable life lessons, it remains a must-read for children and adults alike.
Whether you're introducing the book to a new generation of readers or revisiting it as an old favorite, the magical world of James and his insect friends will continue to delight and inspire. Be sure to read other Roald Dahl children’s classics including Matilda , Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG!
Fun Facts about the Book and Author
Roald Dahl was a celebrated British novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter. He was known for children's novels like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and The BFG.
James and the Giant Peach was Roald Dahl's first children's novel. He wrote James and the Giant Peach in 1961 as a bedtime story for his daughter Lucy, which she loved.
Dahl was inspired to write James and the Giant Peach after observing a peach tree in his garden and imagining what might happen if one of the peaches grew to an enormous size. The novel was also inspired by Dahl's own experiences of being sent away from his parents at the age of nine.
Although the book is now widely loved, it faced some controversy upon its initial release due to its dark themes and perceived inappropriate content. However, this did not hinder its success, and it has since become a cherished classic.
Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II as a fighter pilot. He survived a plane crash in the Libyan Desert, which inspired some of his later works.
James and the Giant Peach was Dahl's first children's book, and it was initially rejected by several publishers before being accepted by Alfred A. Knopf.
The book has been adapted into numerous stage plays, films, and musicals, including a 1996 film directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton.
It was been adapted into a popular film by Disney in 1996, starring Richard Dreyfuss as Centipede, Susan Sarandon as Miss Spider and Joanna Lumley as Aunt Spiker.
James and the Giant Peach has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
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KS2 English: Roald Dahl - Extracts
BBC Teach > Primary Resources > English KS2
These three extracts from Roald Dahl texts are read by Eniola Aluko, Bella Ramsey and Sir Michael Palin and can be used to encourage pupils to think about characterisation, conflict in storytelling and persuasive language in the most giganticus way!
These Roald Dahl extract readings are taken from BBC Teach's Roald Dahl Day Lesson.
Suitable for teaching English at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd level in Scotland.
Watch again: Roald Dahl Day Lesson - The Power of Words
Watch our celebration of Roald Dahl Story Day with this special interactive lesson for pupils aged 7 to 11.
Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach' read by Bella Ramsey
Roald Dahl was a master at creating all sorts of characters, which is demonstrated in this reading where we are introduced to seven very different characters.
Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' read by Sir Michael Palin
Sir Michael Palin reads an extract from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' to demonstrate how we are able to use the power of words to persuade people and help them understand a point of view.
Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' read by Eniola Aluko
Eniola Aluko reads an extract from 'Matilda' to demonstrate conflict between characters, using a confrontation between Matilda and Miss Trunchbull as an example.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Watch the exciting story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in six short video clips.
Use these Bitesize resources to set homework, independent study tasks or to consolidate learning for your pupils.
The latest news stories from Newsround to share in the classroom.
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Roald Dahl’s novel
Mad genius Henry Selick hired me as Conceptual Designer on his stop-motion feature based on Roald Dahl’s book, James and the Giant Peach . Already a huge fan of stop motion animation—Jan Svankmajer, Jiri Trnka, the Bros Quay, Karel Zeman, Yuri Norstein, all big influences on my work—it was an amazing experience designing puppet bugs for a couple of years. While working on the film I became friendly with the Dahl family and Roald’s widow, Liccy, asked if I would reillustrate the original novel. Yes. Then Disney released my production art in a picture book format with text by one of the screenwriters, Karey Kirkpatrick, and with graphic design by Molly Leach.
Publishers Weekly Number 1 bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Henry’s inventive film holds a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes
The picture book of the Disney movie using my production art from the film.
The signed and numbered limited edition slipcase version.
One of the movie’s posters. This one painted by me.
Here’s an article on the making of the movie.