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
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.
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.
"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.