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February 23, 2003

Despatches from the Parenting Frontiers

Marianne has finally found a writer who inspires her to spend hours with her nose in a book; and rather to my astonishment, it's Enid Blyton. What's more, the books that she's so delighted by are The Enchanted Wood, The Adventures of the Wishing-Chair and their sequels, all of which were great favourites of mine at her age. She's reading some of them in modern editions, and some in old hardbacks at my parents' house. "They've changed all the names," she commented. "Jo is now Joe, and Bessie is Beth. Fanny is Franny and Dick is Rick. Why did they do that?" I wonder what else they've changed.

Weirdest Enid Blyton link: Up The Faraway Tree. "One of my best books ever" says the author, who encountered them at the age of twelve. Twelve! Tolkien, Heinlein, Le Guin, Jan Mark, Margaret Mahy, Orson Scott Card, Anne Fine, Peter Dickinson, Philip Pullman, and many many more. But not Enid Blyton, and certainly not these lovely books for little children who are just starting to read independently.

Meanwhile, Jonathan's sense of the natural order of the universe becomes more acute every day. After playing in Marianne's room this afternoon, we discovered that he had put Barbie's orange juice cartons safely away in the fridge. They're nice and cold now.

Posted by Alison at February 23, 2003 07:35 PM


My daughter too is starting to read the Faraway Tree which I loved as a child all those years ago. In our version, the old names remain, but I know why they changed them...every time I am reading it out to her, there are fits of giggles when I read the name Fanny!! I dread to think what will happen if there is still a Dick in this book!

Posted by: Roo at March 19, 2005 11:19 PM

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