Enid Blyton is one of our best loved children’s authors, but for many years she has been out of fashion. Her books have been regarded as outmoded, with a number of issues of political correctness.
However, they had a charm and an appeal, and somehow they have more resonance now, with many of us keen to let our children enjoy a more “old fashioned” childhood. We would love our children to enjoy adventurous play outdoors, and we feel nostalgic for a time when childhood was simpler and more innocent.
This nostalgia has led the Estate of Enid Blyton, known as “Chorion”, to rewrite and adapt a number of her works for a new audience, taking out any elements which could be accused of racism, sexism or xenophobia, but leaving in the old-fashioned adventurous charm of the originals.
New on the bookshelves is The Famous Five’s Survival Guide, which combines a new adventure – a search for a bejewelled dragon – with useful advice on topics such as code-breaking, using a compass, building an escape raft, first aid, and camping.
Cleverly, the book does not pretend to be copying Enid Blyton’s own style, but is supposedly written by the four human members of the original Five, now adults, who were unable to solve the mystery back in 1959. They give helpful clues and tips to allow readers to figure it out for themselves.
Text © Alexandra Freeman 2008
About the Author: Alex Freeman is a freelance writer specialising in parenting and family topics and can be contacted via eParenting.