Typically, I'm not much of a "re-reader," but this one is an exception for me as it connects back to a few of the last truly happy childhood memories that I have. This was one of the first books I picked up for my new Kindle Fire late last year when Amazon featured a few of Ronald Dahl's books. I'm really glad I picked it up and re-read this one. It was a bit of bright spot for me right now. Ronald Dahl has a very wry and whimsical writing style that won't appeal to all adults. _James and the Giant Peach_ requires the ability to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the outrageous situations, unlikely "critter" traveling companions, and over-the-top villains. If you can suspend adult thinking and just take the story as-it-comes, it's a grand adventure and a lot of fun. I'm really glad I decided to re-read this, even though I don't often re-read books.
For parents, yes, in "Dahl fashion" there is a bit of colorful language in this book. Read it first. Or better yet, read it...
Got this for my 3 year old to introduce him to something more robust then his standard picture books. It went great! I would put voices to each character, read at a deliberate pace, and paused every once and awhile to help him reflect back on what we just read. To make it a little more fun I replaced the name of the main character (James) with my son's name. It made the story more personal and he liked to stop and say things like, "That's me!", or "Those are my friends". The flow of the story is right at his level to keep him interested for 30 minutes at a time. So if you are looking for a fun and silly story to get your younger kids started on this would be a good start.
After reading some of the descriptions of Roald Dahl's books and a few reviews, I ordered two books by him as a birthday present for my nine-year-old nephew and had them mailed to him. He actually wrote me a thank-you note saying "Thank you so much for my present. I love them so much. I read the books all the time. I love them so much!" "Danny, the Champion of the World" was the title of one and the other was "James and the Giant Peach." Books like this spark a child's imagination and help develop a love of reading.
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