This is what I am reading out loud to the girls right now. We started it just yesterday and they asked me first thing this morning to keep reading. The beginning is a little harsh as the author talks about how horrible James' two aunts are, but the girls are riveted to the story already. I made sure that the first reading time together we read up to the part where James meets the mysterious man and receives the magic bag. That kept them interested to read the rest of James and the Giant Peach.
I plan to have them write about the book, the characters, and what they think will happen next. I'll also have them draw pictures about what we've read and maybe even memorize one of the silly poems in the book. Gloria only has to write one small sentence when we do this, and I help her spell whatever she wants to say. I expect a little bit more from Danya, usually two or three sentences. I want them to practice their handwriting, but I don't want to make them hate writing since it's still hard for them at this age. It may take a while to finish this book since we may only be able to read it when I'm feeding Kevin.