When James 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. When James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit and crawls inside, he meets wonderful new friends–the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the dainty Ladybug, and the Centipede of the multiple boots. After years of feeling like an outsider in his aunts’ house, James finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach household starts rolling away–and the adventure begins!
As a kid, I loved Roald Dahl. He was one of the many authors that got me so into reading. So, now that I’m older, I decided it was time to read one of his books again.
I tried my best to read this from a kid’s point of view. I want to be really critical of it, but I know I shouldn’t. When I first started, I was worried I was going to hate this. On the first page, his parents get killed by a wild rhino. Seriously? There couldn’t even be a realistic death? And I hate abusive aunts like Sponge and Spiker. There’s no way that would be allowed to happen. He never went to school! That’s illegal. He’d be emotionally traumatised by how horrible the aunts are. But, it’s a kid’s book. He’s allowed some poetic licence.
It got much, much better. As soon as we were introduced to the insects, I fell in love. The Centipede’s songs are absolutely amazing. They were just so cute! The characters weren’t entirely fleshed out. But it was a short book, so I forgive them. They did all have things I loved, and little flaws. They were actually real insects too, which I liked. It was sort of subtle learning. I’m not sure a spider’s web is actually strong enough to lift a peach when tied to a seagull, but it was MOSTLY true. I noticed they had conversations where they talked about the insects lives, when they said interesting things that were actually true.
I liked the world he’d created. The Cloud Men were really cool. A little scary, but cool. They were the ones who stood and painted rainbows, if you don’t know. Because that’s how rainbows are made. Absolutely. It was cute though, making that bit up. And all the ideas James had, like using the seagulls to fly the peach. Even the creepy man with the bugs, making the giant peach, was creative. It’d be fantastic for a child to get excited by that world.
So, if you’re a kid, or a parent of a kid, I’d recommend it. Reading it when you’re a bit older probably isn’t a great idea, because you become a lot more critical. So don’t read it to your kids – just give it to your kids to read themselves!