Since JATGP became standard reading fare in the early ’60s, there have been plenty of illustrations and covers and art students attempt to capture the essence of James and his over-sized fruit to choose from. Three, though, stand out as the most iconic of Dahl’s vision.
Little known fact: Roald Dahl’s James and Giant Peach was originally going to be entitled James and the Giant Cherry, but Dahl edited the title to peach because a peach is “prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry.”
Which one is, in your opinion, the face of James and the Giant Peach?
Nancy Burkert, Alfred Knopf 1961
Nancy Ekholm Burkert’s first notable illustrations were for the first edition of JATGP, which launched her career as an artist and children’s book illustrator.
Pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, watercolor, pen.
Quentin Blake, Puffin 2005
Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl go hand in hand. Blake has illustrated more of Dahl’s novels than any other artist, including Matilda, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, and The Witches.
Pen, ink, watercolor.
Lane Smith, Puffin 1996
Perhaps best known for his relationship with Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith illustrated an edition of JATGP in the mid-90s and later become the art director for Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the work.
Charcoal pencil, sheer brilliance.
Which one is your favorite?