James and the Giant Peach was written in 1961 and was well received by the public. Originally titled James and the Giant Cherry, the book was given a new name because Dahl deemed a peach to be "prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry." The text was originally illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, but later editions featured other illustrators. James and the Giant Peach was Dahl's second published narrative for children, but the book contains references to stories that he later wrote and published, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and The BFG.
While Dahl's book received great praise for the most part, James and the Giant Peach was also banned in some areas of the world for allegations such as sexual innuendo, profanity, racism, frightening content, and its supposed promotion of disobedience, drugs, and communism. It ranks #56 on the American Library Association's top 100 list of most controversial and frequently-challenged books.
The book was later converted into a popular animated movie, James and the Giant Peach, which was released in 1996.