One more book by Roald Dahl found its way into my hands over the weekend – James And The Giant Peach – and got read within no time. And it was found to be just as wonderful and scrumdiddlyumptious as Dahl’s other works.
James And The Giant Peach is among the best known and most loved children’s books by Dahl in the world, along with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Danny The Champion Of The World. It is the story of James, a kind and sweet little boy, who suddenly becomes an orphan, and finds himself living with his two horrid aunts, Spiker and Sponge. He is lonely, ill-fed, depressed and tired of all the work that he has to do at Spiker and Sponge’s house, and is ill-treated all the time.
James feels his dawn has come when a queer old man gives him a paper bag of green seeds and asks him to put them in water, which would end all his miseries. Unfortunately, he trips over the roots of a dead peach tree in Spiker and Sponge’s home, and the paper bag rips open, and all the seeds spill out. The result is a giant peach that starts growing on the dead tree, surprising everyone, including Spiker and Sponge. The wicked aunts decide to make bundles of money using the giant peach, but fate has other plans. James is drawn one night to the peach, and when he goes close to it, magical things start happening. James then sets out on a magical journey, which puts an end to his misery and gloom.
I LOVED the book, and would place it right there in my list of Dahl favourites after Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and The BFG. I loved Dahl’s sense of humour, as always, and his splendid way of describing things – his Dahlicious way with words. And, of course, I fell in love with all the magical creatures he has created in this book. Hats off to Dahl’s power of imagination!
I would heartily recommend this book to children and adults alike.
PS: I was reading about this book on the Internet, and learnt something that surprised me. This book was banned at one point of time, along with Roald Dahl’s The Witches. And the reasons cited were references to racism, examples of bad behavior and language not good for children to learn. I didn’t find anything in the book that I felt warranted the banning of it. Have you read this book? What do you feel about this issue?