Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bedtime Story: James and the Giant Peach

For the last month or so, Z's bedtime story has been Roald Dahl's classic James and the Giant Peach. When we started reading one chapter a night, I didn't realize that this book has 39 chapters! However, it managed to keep our interest and we've had a fun time reading it.

I'll admit that I never read this Dahl classic when I was a kid. I can't remember why I never chose it but maybe the lure of another story with "Chocolate" in the title just overshadowed it. Z and I have watched Henry Selick's stop-animation retelling of the story but never knew how it compared to the original. Now that we've finished this bedtime story, we know!

The original Roald Dahl story is definitely crankier and somewhat less fanciful but definitely exciting. There were a couple of times where I had to quick edit during my reading (one racist remark and a few choice insults). I probably wouldn't have changed anything but the racist remark if Z was older. This book has a good message about keeping your head during hard times and using your brain. It was also humorous and inventive and has some fun insect facts. I hope we enjoy our next story as much as we enjoyed this one!

Dreaming about seagull travel and Cloud-Men,
K and Z

Buy James and the Giant Peach on Amazon or find it at your local library.


  1. I applaud you for doing chapter books with your 5 year old. I don't think my son could do it... but maybe I should give it a try!

    I kind of remember this one hazily ... Roald Dahl does have an odd sense of childhood, doesn't he?

  2. Yes, according to this book, Roald Dahl believes that kids most enjoy insects and insults. :)

  3. I read this one with my daughter recently and I completely agree with you! However, I have yet to see the movie, so maybe I need to check that one out!! We've been reading lots of Dahl lately!! It makes me wonder if there is an underlying theme of crankiness in many of his novels!! :)d

  4. Tif - It's kind of funny that there is so much crankiness in the books ... it's like he's giving kids permission to not always be perky and positive.

  5. What an interesting way of putting it! I love that perspective . . . "giving kids permission to not always be perky and positive." I may have to quote you on one of my future reviews of the books!! :)

  6. Kristen, I just posted a link to this conversation! Check it out!!