James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is just the novel to read when you want to escape the dreary winter. Within minutes of diving into the book, you are off on a great adventure with James and a scary-looking, but lovable, group of giant insects.
The story does have a rather nasty beginning though. James Henry Trotter, once a happy little four year old, becomes an orphan when his parents, while visiting the city, are consumed by a runaway rhinoceros. James is sent to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge, who seem to have much in common with the ugly stepmother and stepsisters from Cinderella. James’ life quickly becomes one of hard work and drudgery, living with the spiteful aunts that view James more as a servant and pest than as their poor orphaned nephew.
Life quickly changes for James, when the giant peach appears. On a whim, he climbs inside and encounters Old Green Grasshopper, Centipede, Earthworm, Glowworm, Silkworm, Miss Spider, and Ladybug. Scared to death at first, James quickly realizes the “human-sized” insects are friendly and mean him no harm. Within minutes the peach begins rolling down the hill toward the sea and the group is off on a series of magical, wonderful adventures that will send them on an unforgettable journey!