Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Published: 2010 (originally 1961)
Yes, it’s another Roald Dahl – are you bored yet? Well, I’m not! Another great children’s book, another great classics. I seem to remember that I have read this book once before, I think at primary school in a Dutch translation. Nevertheless, I had forgotten basically everything – I knew it had something to do with two terrible aunts, the young and innocent James and a, well, giant peach.
When you open a book and within the first page the parents of the main character are eaten by a ‘enormous angry rhinoceros’, you know it’s Dahl you’re dealing with. Who else would come up with a magical substance that grows a giant peach? And make the peach tumble straight down the cliffs of Dover, float upon the waves of the sea until sharks start to attack the delicious fruit and it finally makes for an air voyage with the help of seagulls? Yep – I’m a fan.
James and the Giant Peach is, just like Fantastic Mr Fox for the somewhat younger readers – younger than the audience of The BFG and Matilda. James isn’t as mischievous as Mr Fox, but has more fantastical elements (ever heard of the Cloud Men?). I think that diversity is what makes Dahl such an interesting author, for both parents/adults and children alike.
What’s your best book related memory from when you were a child?