REVIEW: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

rdd1 Today is Roald Dahl Day! Celebrate the awesomeness of Dahl and his characters on his birthday, September 13th every year.

This year, as many of you have already noticed, September 13th is on a Friday, making this Dahl Day extra special.

To find out more information on Roald Dahl Day you can visit the website at

What your the first Dahl book you read? Which one is your favorite? Which characters always stick out in your mind?

My answers= Matilda was my first book. My favorite however, is The BFG. Some characters that pop out at me are Mike Teavee (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), the group of the witches from The Withes and the Grasshopper from James and the Giant Peach.

109137Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Year of Publication: 1961
Genre: Children’s
Format: Paperback
Length: 146 pages
First Line: “Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had had a happy life.”

Summary: 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 entrance way 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 aunt’s 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!

Review: This is one of those rare-ish times where I saw the movie before I read the book. Back in 1996 like many children I fell in love with the Tim Burton movie ‘James and the Giant Peach’. My brother started to read me the book later that year, but we stopped in the middle and never picked it back up. That’s why a couple years ago, I decided to pick it back up and read.

I know it’s Roald Dahl and I know it’s James and the Giant Peach, but I am not impressed with it. I can clearly see why the movie deleted what they did from the book. The Silkworm is the only insect not in the movie. But in the book the Silkworm doesn’t do anything and actually has no lines. The Cloud Men sequence lasted so long and is really boring. The replaced skeleton pirate sequence is a lot better. In the book, all of the characters have no personalities. I like that the movie brought out their personalities more.

The book is probably for older children because the Centipede curses quite a bit (calling James and the Earthworm ‘asses’), and there’s a racist line by the Grasshopper in chapter 28, “I’d rather be fried alive and eaten by a Mexican!”

In the end, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fantastic.

Worst part: The ‘fight’ with the Cloud Men. So boring.

Best part: Before James meets the gang.

Grade: C

Recommend For: I’d recommend it to other Roald Dahl fans.

Other Books by This Author: The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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