13.Apr.2010 A Book of Naughty Children by Enid Blyton

This book used to be my mum’s. She got it at “Christmas 1946 from Auntie Nellie”. Published during World War 2, I’m pleased to report that inside it has a little insignia stating – “This book is produced in complete conformity with the authorized economy standards”. It has stood up pretty well considering that, just a couple of frays on the spine, and a bit of dusty mould.

I remember studiously reading several Blyton series as a child – Wishing Chair, Magic Faraway Tree, and, of course the 21 odd volumes of the Famous Five (In fact I vividly remember watching the late 70s TV series after school and was excited to find much of it on YouTube recently). No doubt my mum read me this when I was small, too. For all the criticism of Blyton’s stories – and there’s been a lot of it over the years – this collection of very short stories is great reading in these modern times.

It is full of all the things ‘we’ don’t do now – whacking the kids when they misbehave, letting them run wild on the streets and the like. Whilst parenting styles have changed for many in the West nowadays, I quite enjoying reminding my children that things weren’t always like that. The look of horror on their little faces is always priceless.

There are of course, gollywogs, which need a little more contextual explanation.

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