Now that I am old I often think I should like to go live in a peach. Not just any old delicious juicy peach… a scrum-diddly-umptious peach. A mammoth peach! A ginormous peach! James’ peach. James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl, 1961) wasn’t actually a story that appealed to me much as a child, but I have read it aloud countless times now to my kids, every time marveling more and more at the simple, magical genius of this gargantuan fruit that becomes home and haven to poor James and his delightful friends, carrying them across the seas right to the spire of the Empire State Building, and eventually becoming James’s permanent abode in Central Park. I can hardly imagine a more serene setting than a peach pit cottage nestled in the park, with such lovely friends as Old Green Grasshopper and Earthworm, Ladybug and Spider, dear Glowworm, and the feisty, incorrigible Centipede stopping by now and then for tea.
-Jennifer M. Kaufman