Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kim's Review : Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree Series

I was recently invited for a little girls birthday and remembering the lovely time I had reading the Faraway Tree series as a child, I decided to get all 3 books for this little girl.

By a strange set of circumstances, I could not make it to the party and the books were waiting to be gift wrapped, so I decided to quickly re-read them myself. Oh what fun it was, I was promptly transported back to my childhood. Of finishing up homework quickly so I could read the next chapter of Joe, Beth & Frannies adventures. Of checking to see which land would arrive atop the Faraway tree next.

In the Enchanted Wood, the children move to the country where their house borders a wood which seems strange and exciting. They soon realise that there is magic in that wood and at the centre of it is the Faraway Tree with its strange inhabitants and the new lands in the clouds that periodically appear at the top of the tree. While some lands are fun and exciting, some are more trouble than they bargained for.

Moonface, Silky the Fairy, the Angry Pixie, the Saucepanman, Mr Whatzizname, Mr Whiskers, Dame Washalot are all characters that are just so much fun.

In the The Magic Faraway Tree cousin Rick comes to visit and share in their adventures. (This book was voted No 66, in BBC's Big Read 2003) and in The Folk of Faraway Tree the daughter of their mother's friend - Connie comes to visit.

So while its fun to read all 3 books as a series, you can even pick out just one from the series because each book covers the basics.

The tales are quite fantastical in the fantasies that they create, I can't think of anyone who will read these books and not long to visit the land of toys, the birthday land, land of take-what-you-want, land of do-as-you please. There are also moral lessons to be learnt. Actions have consequences. Rudeness and destructive mischief will be punished and good behavior has its own rewards. I also really wish, I could cook some of the goodies that they enjoy in these books: goggle buns, Pop cakes, toffee shocks and the like.

Enid Blyton has had to face a lot of flak in recent times about being politically incorrect and gender stereotyping (racist and sexist are the terms used for her writing). But there's also a lot of nostalgia attached to her books and I'm most clearly in the 2nd category. I loved the books as a child, they took me and my imagination to far off places and re-reading them as an adult transports me back to my childhood.

Here's to many more Enid Blytons/Mary Pollocks.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

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