James and the Giant Peach

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Information on identifying editions is from Richard Walker’s “Roald Dahl – A Guide to Collecting His First Editions”.

  • First editions:
    • Knopf, 1961, USA.
      • Illustrated by: Nancy Ekholm Burkert
      • To identify: Five-line colophon found on the last printed page that includes the statements: Bound by H. Wolff Co. (later printings were bound by the Book Press) and underneath this: Paper supplied by P.H. Glatfelter, Spring Grove Pennsylvania. The boards are a deep red/maroon and the head is stained a peach/yellow color. The dust jacket is priced at $3.95 and does not have any SBN numbers on the right bottom of the rear panel. Note: there are more intricacies here which can be found on Richard’s site
    • Allen & Unwin, 1967, UK.
      • Illustrated by: Michel Simeon
      • To identify: Used a standard single statement (‘First published in Great Britain in’ followed by the date, no later dates or printing statements) and was published without pricing and no dust jacket.
  • Later editions:
    • Unwin/Hyman, 1990, UK.
      • Illustrated by: Emma Chichester Clark
      • To identify: After original publishing listing and twelfth print, a standard © statement for Clark illustrations 1990 was used. Published with a dust jacket priced at £8.95.
    • Viking, 1995, UK.
      • Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
      • To identify: Used a number line and was published with a jacket that was either not priced and without a Viking logo on the spine or a jacket with the logo on the spine and priced at £9.99.
    • Knopf, 1996, USA.
      • Illustrated by: Lane Smith
      • To identify: Used number line and published with a jacket priced at $16.00
    • Knopf, 2002, USA.
      • Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
      • To identify: Used a number line and published with a jacket but without a price.
  • Censorship:
    • Challenged at the Deep Creek Elementary School in Charlotte Harbor, Fla. (1991) because it is “not appropriate reading material for young children.”
    • Challenged at the Pederson Elementary School in Altoona, Wis. (1991) and at the Morton Elementary School library in Brooksville, Fla. (1992) because the book contains the word “ass” and “promotes” the use of drugs (tobacco, snuff) and whiskey.
    • Removed from classrooms in Stafford County, Va. Schools (1995) and placed in restricted access in the library because the story contains crude language and encourages children to disobey their parents and other adults.
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A little magic can take you a long way.

After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and 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. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!



  • Massachusetts Children’s Award (USA 1982)

Criticism and Analysis

Fun Stuff

James and the Giant Peach Quiz


Sotheby’s Dahl Auction

Teacher Ideas


Afrikaans Covers – James en die reuseperske

Bulgarian Covers – Джеймс и гигантската праскова

Catalan Covers – James i el préssec gegant

Chinese Covers

Czech Covers – Jakub a obří broskev

Danish Covers – James og den store fersken

Dutch Covers – Beesten aan boord; De reuzenperzik

Estonian Covers – James ja hiigelvirsik

French Covers – James et la grosse pêche

German Covers – James und der Riesenpfirsich


Korean Covers – 제임스와 슈퍼 복숭아 양장본

Lithuanian Covers – Džeimsas ir milžiniškas persikas

Norwegian Covers – Verdens Største Fersken

Polish Covers – James i ogromna brzoskwinia

Russian Covers – Джеймс и чудо-персик

Serbian Covers – Džejms i džinovska breskva

Slovakian Covers – Jakub a obrovská broskyňa

Spanish Covers – James y el melocotón gigante

Turkish Covers – Dev Şeftali

Vietnamese Covers – James Và Quả Đào Khổng Lồ

Welsh Covers – James A’r Eirinen Wlanog Enfawr