Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Budding Blyton Fan


The other day on a whim I pulled out the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton from my bookshelf and read a few chapters to my four-year-old son. I wasn't sure he was ready for a chapter book but I was surprised to see his reaction. He loved it and he totally got it! (Believe me, I quizzed him after every chapter) He always begs for one chapter more and so between his dad and me we've gone through eight chapters in the last few days. He hides behind the pillows during the more exciting parts and screams out instructions to the kids. "Don't do it! Don't do it....it won't work," he yelled when the children in the book were about to try a potion to make brooms fly. He laughs at the funny situations and longs to eat a pop cake or a google bun which (you'll love this) is a bun with a large raisin in the middle that's filled with sherbet. Yum! It's fun to see this budding Blyton fan enjoying this wonderful book. I'm more amazed than ever at Enid Blyton's power to weave a magical spell on children.

The Faraway Tree is the sequel to the Enchanted Wood. However, it obviously doesn't matter which one you read first. Joe, Beth and Frannie and their cousin Rick climb up the Faraway Tree and up to the clouds where a different land appears each day. Among them, the land of topsy-turvy, the land of spells and the land of presents. The children get down using the slippery-slip, a slide found inside the trunk of the tree. The characters who live there are Moon-Face, Saucepan Man and Silky the Fairy. It's quite easy for a child to picture these hilarious cast and there are a few illustrations in the book to fuel their imagination. I've caught my son a few times curled up on the couch staring at the cover and gently turning each page. He can't read yet but he's already a bookworm.

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful -- Enid Blyton was the author that really got me reading so hope it's the same for your son!

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  2. Oh, I remember how much I loved the Faraway books when I was your son’s age. Enid Blyton is definitely one of the reasons I grew up to be such a bookworm!

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  3. These were the FAVOURITE books of my childhood, hands down! I had a 3-in-1 book of the series and read it to death, over and over again. I'm so glad your son loves it! My sister has just started my three year old nephew on Enid Blyton and he loves it too - she thought he wouldn't be able to concentrate for a whole chapter but he does, and he takes it in really well. I can't wait to share these stories with him when he's a bit older!

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  4. ZOMG, I read this book when I was 4 or 5 and LOVED it! My family went on a vacation to Wales, and it was one of the books in the common one of our B&B. The very kind owner let me take it with me, and I treasure it this day. :)

    Erm, that might have been a bit too much enthusiasm. But I think he's the perfect age for it!

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  5. I actually didn't read the Faraway Tree as a child. I read some of the Famous Five books but I was definitely much older than four! It's so nice to hear from all of you and learn that you loved the Faraway Tree as young children. We're reading Chapter 11 now...the land of toys!

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  6. I can't wait to have kids so I can read awesome books to them. Well, maybe I can wait... rephrase. I am excited by the prospect of reading awesome books to my future children ;p

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  7. Like you, I never read this as a child either, but did love the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Malory Towers, Five Find-outers, etc. and was a real fan of EB's older books. My son loved The Magic Faraway Tree stories when I read them to him a few years ago and I was more impressed by them than I thought I'd be, having been partially brainwashed by the 'Enid Blyton is rubbish' school of thought which I have now managed to shrug off.
    Interestingly, I was in an ante-natal group with someone whose daughter was born on the same day, in the same hospital, as my son. They later moved away but we met up again a few years further on, when the kids were 6 or so, and there were several odd parallels in their lives, one of which was being at that time in the middle of reading and really loving The Magic Faraway Tree.

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  8. Aw, the story about your son really made me smile :D I've never read Enid Blyton, but I'm determined to catch up with all the children's classics I missed, so she's on the list.

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  9. Talking of Enid Blyton and The Magic Faraway Tree books, I grew up on the likes of The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, etc, which explains why I decided to write a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com, www.amazon.com).
    Stephen Isabirye

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  10. The Faraway Tree series is wonderful. I'd forgotten about google buns! But I well remember Moon-Face and the slippery-slip!

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  11. I have such wondeful memories of rading this as a child. My parents would read my sister and I one chapter of this book each night before we went bed. We had a big illustrated version of the book. I think I might have to re-read it now.

    I really like your blog, i am definitely going to to follow it from now on.

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