Monday, February 7, 2011

MG Book Review: James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

General Information
Publisher:  Penguin Group
(first published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1961)
Year of publication:  2007
# of chapters:  39
# of pages:  146
Genre:  Adventure
Plot summary:  from Wikipedia

Positive Points
Roald Dahl has an engaging and interesting voice.  Definitely a born storyteller!  Must I say more?

At first, I thought a book about a giant peach would be extremely boring, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Anything is possible in this story, so the reader has no idea what will happen next.  The story is filled with surprising twists and turns, adventure and drama.

The dialogues between the giant bugs are priceless, especially the rivalry between the proud-to-be-a-pest centipede and the pessimistic earthworm.

Each chapter has a great cliffhanger, enticing the reader to turn the page and keep reading.  The chapters being very short, it's easy to keep reading and reading until the end, without stopping... much like I did.

Negative Points
This book contains many little rhyming songs children will enjoy, but it may be hard for an adult to read the book aloud. As a parent, I always dreaded reading books that contain songs to my kids.  I could either just read the songs and pretend they were poems, or make up a melody that didn't made any sense.

What makes this book unique
The author, of course!  No one else could have written such an interesting story about a giant fruit in someone's backyard.

Overall Impression
This book will appeal to very young children (if read aloud by an imaginative parent who can make up song melodies instantly), and to independent readers as well.  The title is not very interesting to me, and maybe that's the reason it took me so long to decide to read it.  Don't judge a book by its title!  I enjoyed reading it, and I definitely want to learn how to write better by studying successful children's authors such as Roald Dahl.  His writing style is priceless.

This book reminded me of Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins, because of the giant bugs interacting with humans and the protagonist being a young boy.

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:


Jess said...

Ah, Roald Dahl~ he's my favorite! I'm glad you enjoyed readng this :)

carouselwind said...

Peaches are my favorite fruit, and Roald Dahl is my favorite children's author. Good review.

Annie McMahon said...

I'm not the only one who likes Roald Dahl, as I can see. :) Thanks, Jess and Stefan for visiting my blog!

Emailman said...

Roald Dahl was, and still is, Roxie's favourite author :) And, Annie, what are you saying? It's an awesome title! haha!! You have no class :)

Annie McMahon said...

He's a great author, I agree. As for the title, um... a whole book about a giant peach? LOL Whatever!

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