James & the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl


James & the Giant Peach was Roald Dahl’s second book for children. He wrote it in New York in the winter of 1960 after a stretch of 17 years in which he had written only short stories for adults. Dahl’s baby son, Theo, had a terrible accident while Dahl was writing this book, and he said that being able to disappear into this fantasy world for a few hours each day helped him through the crisis. Today, happily, both Theo and James are very much alive and well.

Roald Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74.

This was the motto that he lived by:

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night
But ah my foes and oh my friends
It gives a lovely light

The book in one sentence: An ordinary boy given an extraordinary adventure.

Who would you recommend it to: Little children who don’t mind bugs and have a taste for fantastical adventure.

OK bits: How James always manages to save the day. And his happy little ending.

Boring bits: The poems are creative and fun, but I don’t particularly care for them. The annoying Earthworm and Centipede.

Verdict: I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed his other books. That said, it is typically Dahl and therefore it should be a good read for anybody.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. beyond bluestockings
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 04:39:00

    As a child, my favourite book was “When Marnie was there”. I haven’t given it to my own children however, as I am hoping that the “lonely, disturbed child” theme is not one they will ever relate to. “Tom’s Midnight Garden” is along a similar line, but a more cheerful story, which all my children enjoyed.

    nylusmilk: did you mean to post your comment in this post instead? anyway, thanks for your recommendations, i hope to come across them in my library next time. 🙂


  2. beyond bluestockings
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 08:28:54

    “nylusmilk: did you mean to post your comment in this post instead? ”

    LOL! yes I did, sorry – I am a little technically challenged .

    nylusmilk: no worries, i linked to the post already. 🙂 you’ll learn as you go along, this blogging business!


  3. justine
    May 31, 2009 @ 15:18:08

    i love james and giant peach it so exciting and adfenchers

    nylusmilk: adfenchers? adventurous?


  4. Rod@creative writing course
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 13:29:37

    I just finished reading Fantastic Mr Fox to my 4 year daughter – it’s, well, fantastic!

    And I love that quote – reminds me of me!

    nylusmilk: that’s another classic dahl children book! 🙂 i liked that one too, i remember.


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