Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just Peachy

We finished James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  I'm sorry, but what IS this book?!  Weird.  Weird.  Weird.  So here's the story: A little boy named James has to go live with his two mean aunts after his parents are eaten by a rhinoceros (?).  One day a creepy old man lures him into the bushes and gives him a bag of magic crocodile tongues (?).  James accidentally spills the bag next to a peach tree and a huge peach grows on the tree.  He ends up traveling in the peach from London to NYC with five life-size bugs (???).  The moral of the story is . . . ?

The movie is also weird.  It starts out live action, changes to stop-motion animation, has a moment of regular animation, and ends with live action.  It's not the most faithful adaptation, but the spirit of the book is there.  My kids really liked the book and the movie, but my kids also like Spaghetti-O's, so can they really be trusted? 

My cousin Andrea told me she had to stop reading this one to her kids because they kept asking why the aunts were treating James so poorly and she couldn't get through it.  My kids kept begging me to read it to them and I found a copy for a dollar at the thrift store, so whaddayagonnado?  When we read it, I kept saying, "Aren't you glad your aunts are so nice and would never beat you?"  [Side story: Once when I was in third grade a group of actors came to my school to act out dangerous situations for kids.  One skit was a girl whose uncle asked her to come sit on his lap and then started rubbing her thigh.  "Uncle John, that makes me uncomfortable," she told him.  I avoided my uncles for the next five years.  Especially the one who was prone to tickling.]

So, in case you haven't figured it out, this was not my favorite book.  (If it is your favorite book, it's cool.  We can still be friends.)  None of the books I wanted to read next were at the library so I've been muddling over whether to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  How young do you think is too young for that one?


6 Wisecracks:

allyn said...

amen sista. what is this book/movie? beautiful pictures, though. i am the worst at finding good peaches. do you have a vendor?
harry potter might be too much for a 4 1/2 year old. i dunno, though. it is much scarier when you actually see it.

Jess said...

I remember being a little creeped out by that movie also. Guess I might skip that book when my kids have the attention span for a reading club. :) As for Harry Potter, my friend's husband reads that to their 9 and 7 year old girls, who love it. Harrison may be up for it (especially with how kid friendly the first few books are), but I'm not sure about Chloe.

Chelsea Monet said...

Melissa, I think YOU should write a book.

I'm serious.

By the way, have you read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"? Don't read it. I'm sending it to you for your birthday.

Katy said...

oh, Melissa! Your pictures from the beach are beautiful! Looks like a great time was had by all. I'm reading "Mary Poppins" to the girls. So far, so good!

Andrea Lee UptonRowley said...

Yeah, I was glad my kids didn't like this book so I could stop reading it to them. It was a little weird for me too.

melissa said...

Chelsea, I have read that book and enjoyed it very much! Thanks for thinking of me. :)