James and the Giant Peach

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Overview

A little magic can take you a long way.

When James Henry Trotter 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 marvelous oversized friends — Old Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more....

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James and the Giant Peach

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Overview

A little magic can take you a long way.

When James Henry Trotter 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 marvelous oversized friends — Old Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more.

After years of feeling like an outsider in the house of his despicable Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure begins!

Performed by Jeremy Irons.

A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets inside a giant peach.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lane Smith trades stinky cheese for fantastic fruit with his black-and-white illustrations for Roald Dahl's classic 1961 novel, James and the Giant Peach. The reissue is timed to coincide with the release of the Disney animated motion picture based on Smith's suitably subversive visual interpretation.
Children's Literature
The 2001 reissue of this fantasy classic features delightful Quentin Blake illustrations. Liberally sprinkled throughout the brief chapters, the quirky, cartoonish drawings illuminate the daring action. James is the lonely, abused orphan victim in the hands of dreadful Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker until an old man emerges from the garden bushes with a bag of tiny green things. The strange things spill into the earth under the old peach tree. Quickly the story moves into adventure mode when a giant peach grows mysteriously to the size of a house. James is inside the peach with his insect companions. They deal with frothing sharks, captive seagulls and angry cloudmen. James problem-solves, while the mutated insects play the roles expected of a cast of characters on a sinking ship. Incredible remarks are casually made by James such as, "Rainbow-paint dries very quick and very hard," while the insects speak factually about the number of spots on ladybugs and earthworms swallowing soil. It is the craziest of fantasies wrapped tightly in a chapter book perfect for a first grade read-aloud or for the young, independent reader. The book is not dated after 40 years. In the end, the giant peach participants all become rich and successful in America. 2001(orig. 1961), Puffin Books, $5.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Jacki Vawter
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-The classic children's book by Roald Dahl ( Knopf, 1961) receives royal treatment in this terrific audiobook production. James Henry Trotter, a poor orphan, is being raised by two horrible aunts. Magic crystals change his humdrum existence, and soon he is off on a great adventure on a giant peach with new friends who are, to say the least, unique. There are sharks, seagulls, and irate cloud people to add interest along the way and, of course, Dahl's irreverent poetry. The story has always been a crowd-pleaser, and Jeremy Irons does more than read the story-he performs it. Each character has a unique voice, aptly suiting each personality, and Irons tells the story with humor and energy. Fans of Dahl will not be disappointed in this briskly paced tale that is a delight from beginning to end.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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. Yes, there is a movie tied in to all of this, but more importantly, author and illustrator were made for each other, and it's of little consequence that it took almost 35 years for them to meet.
From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394812823
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/21/1976
  • Series: Windrush Books
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant PeachMatildaThe BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Cast of Characters 10
The Play 11
Some Suggestions for Staging 74
Easy-to-Make Costumes and Scenery 76
Lighting Procedures 88
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 234 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(145)

4 Star

(51)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 13, 2010

    This Book is Fun!

    From Elizabeth (7 years old) - I think James and the Giant Peach is funny and I like the characters and what they do. All of the students in my classroom had read the book and I wanted to try it. When I tried it, it was really good.

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2009

    my girls loved following this story

    My girls are too young to read it themselves so we read a chapter or two a night. They loved it!

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2012

    love this book!!!!

    This book is a REALLY good book!!!
    This book has a lot of discriptive words. My favorite insect in this book is ms spider. My favorit person in this book is James.I recommend this book to people who like adventuers and to people who like to learn new discriptive words.

    Georgia,
    from Ms.Edwards class.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    James and the Giant Peach

    I love it!!! We read it in school and I was hooked!!!!!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    I had never gotten it until now....

    I had seen the movie and had never got the point, and I thought it was just plain wierd. It went from reality to animation. It was not until I read the book had I gotten it, I now get it all.

    - Hannah Anderson

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    very good i read it in one night it was captivating i just could

    very good i read it in one night it was captivating i just could not put it down

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Read thi headline

    This book is so sad t the beggining tht i cant put it into words.usually i just read R.L. Stine but i just had to read this

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Amazing!!!!!!

    So good for ages 6-13

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorite books of all time!

    Roald Dahl is my favorite author by far. The BFG is my favorite, but this is also a great book to read again and again! I don't know how many time I have read the book, but it never got boring, and it was always a favorite of mine.

    -Book_Worm_1998

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Best book!

    I like this book because it is really funny and a cliff hanger at each chapter. It is also very hard to put down.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Hunt

    We are reading it at school and we have one more chapter. It is really good.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    ROHLD DAHL IS DEAD!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    I liked the movie

    I luved the movie and the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!! One of my all time favorites!!

    If I could, I would give this book 10000000000000000000000 stars! BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!! I 100% recomend it. It's cool how "the big item" is a PEACH! This book should be worth $1000!!
    BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    I like this book beacause it lots of descriptive word and i expe

    I like this book beacause it lots of descriptive word and i expecily like Aunt spiker because she has a really pointy nose and is a very bossy women.
    by chloe jackson

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    CLICK HERE!

    LOVE THE BOOK! :) Hated the sample!:(

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Love this story!

    First time I read this story was way back in grade school. Even took a school field trip to see the play. Now I'm 31 yrs old and I still love it. I am reading it to my children now and they love it now too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    James

    Love the book read it a buch of times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¿

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Awesome book

    This is my favorite book

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2014

    BEST BOOK EVER

    BEST BOOK EVER

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews

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