When he was four years old, James's parents were gobbled up by a rhinoceros. He has since been forced to live with his horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge, who treat him like a slave, keep him in the attic and only feed him fish heads. One afternoon when he is crying in the woods James stumbles across a friendly wizard, who mysteriously understands his situation and gives him some magic crystals that he promises will bring happiness. On the way back to the house James spills it onto a peach tree, which grows a peach to a giant size.
Venturing inside the cavernous fruit, he discovers a rag-tag band of anthropomorphic insects who take him on a weird but wonderful journey...
Review audience is for parents/carers
Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach' tells the tale of a young boy called James, who is packed off to live with his two really horrible aunts after his parents were eaten by a rhinoceros that escaped from London Zoo. James’ two aunts, Sponge and Spiker, make life really tough for James. However whilst out for a walk James bumps into an old man who gives him a bag of crystals that he says will make marvellous things happen. Excited by this James goes to run home, but he trips, and all the crystals fall out of the bag and disappear. Then later on James and his aunts are amazed to see their barren peach tree bare a peach. However this peach grows to an enormous size. Despite his aunts saying he cannot go near the tree, James makes a hole in the peach and climbs into the peach. This is then where James’ adventure starts. He makes friends with lots of insects, and the peach takes James and his friends on lots of adventures.
Roald Dahl’s colourful use of language; in particular his fantastic use of alliteration, verbs, adverbs and adjectives, brings the story to life, and helps the reader to be able to visualise what they are reading. Furthermore Dahl’s use of comedy and fantasy makes the book appealing to children. Parents/carers could help their children make a model of the peach that James and his insect friends have their adventures in. Children could also carry out a lot of different pieces of writing and drama using the book. For example children could make up their own adventure for James and his friends. Parents/carers could also discuss with their children how initially James was scared of the insects, but after a while he sees past their unusual appearance and makes friends with the insects. This gives an important message to children that you shouldn’t judge people based on looks. Parents/carers of young children could read the book outlowd to their children, as the colourful lanaguage Rauld Dahl uses will instantly get children engaged with the book.
Overall James and the Giant Peach is a delightful book which children will really engage with.
I like the part where the big peach rolls of the hill
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- Reading Age: 8+
- Reading Aloud Age: 8+