When I was in primary school I avidly consumed an extensive diet of Enid Blyton books. I couldn’t get enough of them and it got to the point where my primary school librarian told me in grade 7 that grade 7’s weren’t allowed to borrow Enid Blyton books. I was devastated. I still had some of her books to read and now they were being denied to me.
Being the good girl that I was I didn’t question it until I saw a fellow grade 7’ner borrow one. I used that as ammunition and was allowed to borrow Enid Blyton again. I think that in her misguided way she was trying to get me to borrow other author’s books but she should have been more proactive in getting me interested in other authors. She should have also been thankful that I read at all.
I think Enid Blyton has influenced me more than I realise as my son has the same name of one the character’s in one of her book series. This didn’t gel with me until after he was born and his name given to him but it makes sense now.
Enid Blyton’s copped a lot of flak over the years for racism and so on, but despite what people say about her writing, it lives on and has pretty much stood the test of time.
I loved The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, The Naughtiest Girl, Galliano’s Circus, St Clare’s but one series that I hold dear to my heart is the Magic Faraway Tree.
When I was pregnant, I bought The Magic Faraway Tree and only now have I started reading it to my son. He loves it as much as I did when I was a kid. He doesn’t worry about the character’s names, Dick and Fanny (and no, my son’s name is not Dick). My adult dirty mind has a bit of an inward cackle when I read these names but JJ doesn’t care what they’re called.
It’s still all magical and wonderful. I think it’s appeal is the escape from the everyday life and away from parents. These kids have a hell of a lot of freedom, but then in just about all of Enid Blyton’s books, adults don’t really feature much. And what fun it must be to be able to visit a different world whenever you want, have fabulous adventures and escape unscathed.
JJ’s going through an ‘I love fairies and magic’ stage and that’s why reading him The Magic Faraway Tree is very timely. It’s broken up into fairly short chapters so even when they are in a bit of trouble at the top of the world and a chapter ends I am able to say that’s the end of that day and I’ll read you the rest tomorrow.
I hope that one day he’ll be reading The Magic Faraway Tree book to his children.