About the Book: 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!
My Two Cents: It’s always fun to read favorites from my own childhood with my kids. This one is Road Dahl’s first book for young people, and it has all the elements kids love in Dahl–a kid hero to root for, bad guys who get their comeuppance, and tons of humor and adventure.
Grade Level: 1-6
- Visit Roald Dahl’s website.
- Learn where weather really comes from with fun videos like this one about rainbows and this one about hail. (Hint: It’s doesn’t come from Cloud-Men.)
- James’s parents are eaten by a rhinocerous on page 1, but what do rhinos really eat? Learn more about them here, and more about how you can help endangered rhinos.
- Peaches are pretty tasty on their own, but try this tasty, kid-friendly peach crisp recipe if you’re feeling adventurous.
- There aren’t any bugs quite as big or talkative as the ones in this story, but check out some fascinating bugs here, thanks to National Geographic.
- Check out this site for tons of teaching ideas that go along with this story.
More to Read:
- Another really charming story of creatures and people and a bit of magic: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
- Another funny, silly adventure that involves floating around with very unlikely companions: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
- Another story of a talented bug who helps a young boy: Masterpiece by Elise Broach
- And, of course, all of Roald Dahl’s other wonderful books, including The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my personal favorite, Matilda.