Adventure ahoy!

by Ahalya on September 29, 2010

JGW-2010Camping out on a strange island with no adult supervision around… lunching on sardines and baked potatoes with some butter and tinned orange juice, making friends with a kid from the circus who has a pet monkey, visiting a strange land on top of a tree every week…

As a kid these ideas from the Enid Blyton series captured my imagination like nothing else. I wanted to do all this. I wanted to be stranded on a deserted island where I would save the day with my quick thinking. I wanted to be the one who would build a tent and recognise bird songs and make friends with wild animals and tame them and and and..
Well the list can go on and on.. Enid Blyton was to me the person who provided me with a key to a Land Faraway that I could never have imagined. Be it any book from any series (the Famous Five, St. Claire series, The Faraway tree), she had a wonderful imagination which made the lives of little children all over the world a little bit more exciting.

In those days when there was not much to watch on television, these books were welcomed as manna from heaven. I would rush through my homework just so that I could read a few more chapters from the latest book my dad had got me. Mom would ration our books for a long time – because considering our ravenous appetites, we would be through the box full of books in not time and clamour for more.

That brings me to today’s question: Which is your favourite Enid Blyton bookΒ  (or a book by any other children’s author) and why?

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

MRS. FRANCES TELLIS September 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Can’t pinpoint any particular one – loved the whole gamut – Noddy, Famous Five, Bedtime Stories, et al. It would not be fair to Enid Blyton to pick one that is good for all are excellent.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I would have to agree Mrs. Tellis! And each story seemed so different, Blyton wasn’t an author who recycled her plots πŸ™‚

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Rajat Malhotra September 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

The Goblin’s Toyshop. That’s the only Blyton’s book I remember reading. I think I still have it’s copy lying on my study table.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Still??!!! πŸ™‚

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Vishal Devgon September 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Pran – of Chacha Chowdhary fame, the famous cartoonist who has comics has seen a generation growing and swearing by the wit and sharpness of chacha chowdhary’s computer brain and strength of Jupiter’s habitant ‘Sabu’. His comics were all i could think of about reading as a kid. there were several other characters created by him which were widely read then including -pinki, billu, raka, rocket, chachi and the many others.

Those were the gud ol days when comics were comics and kids loved them.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Oh my god yes! And I do remember a radio show on Chacha Chowdhary too! Sundays during lunch, and my dad would laugh more than eat πŸ™‚

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Meethil September 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Hi,

My favourite Enid Blyton book was Famous Five (after that, to some extent, Secret Seven). According to me the Famous Five series was perfectly suited for it’s target group. Reading it, a child learns to live in the present. He/she learns to enjoy the present. The books dealt with all the issues children went through at that age. The adventures were gripping and the Five exhibited a variety of skills and emotions that a wide variety of children (from different socio-economical backgrounds in India) could relate to. Some of you may have an issue with the excessive use of lemonade and cookies but i guess thats still OK because both were home-made πŸ˜‰

P.S.: I want the book. Give it to me.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

Hahahahahahha! πŸ™‚ Are you trying to make me influence random.org??!!! With all its complex algorithms and things??? πŸ˜€ good try πŸ™‚

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Snehal September 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I hated Enid Blyton! i mean, since when were boys or children for that matter so patient and organised and well mannered? It was too unbelievable. Too British!

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Too British? Well, I guess that would be perfectly true, and some of the boys were ‘horrid beasts’ as the girls would love to say πŸ™‚

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Vinod September 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Ahhhh! There were so many of them, i can hardly remember…..! But i think Noddy won my heart. He was so innocent and colourful. Always enjoyed reading him when i was a kid.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I am so surprised to so many Noddy fans! what did you think about the cartoons by the way?

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Vandana September 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Talking about children’s books I think apart from Enid Blyton there were not that many authors to choose from as a kid. Or at least I don’t remember finding any in my local library at the time. I liked the adventures with Barney, Snubby, Roger, Diana and Loony the dog. I could not wait to read all of them to find out whether Barney found his dad or not. That was my favourite part :). Oh and how can i forget the Three Investigators by Alfred Hitchcock. They were also quite a good read.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

My library didn’t stock E. Nesbit unfortunately. I just read ‘Five Children and It’ and wish I had read it when I was a kid. She kinda reminds me of Roald Dahl in that ‘no mincing of words’ kind of way of writing.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Oh and three investigators were totally hot when I was in my tweens-teens.

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Vivek September 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I didn’t get a chance to read much as a kid. Mainly because I spent most of my time playing like most guys in my area πŸ™‚ But as kid I remember my mother used to stress on the importance of keeping in touch with Indian culture and to learn from the stories like the Jataka tales. I loved reading Chandamama as all of the stories were interesting with an Indian context and had very important lessons one could learn.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Yes, the Indian context is what is most essential when it comes to recommending good reads for kids. How long will they imagine an adventure that they cannot possible have?

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Soham September 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Sometimes I wish I did not have so much homework so i could read more. Listening to my mom talk about all the books that she read as a kid, I can’t wait to finish them all. At the moment, my favourite is the Brer Rabbit series by Enid Blyton. It is fun to read how a small rabbit tricks Brer Fox everytime πŸ™‚

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hey Soham, glad to have you on board. I wish you didn’t have so much homework too! I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but you know your geography textbook? I could hide most comic books and story books inside the pages πŸ™‚ But oh boy did I regret that during the geography exam :/

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Shravani September 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Although I came across this book way past my childhood, I think it is a must read for any kid. I am referring to Terry Pratchett’s ‘A Hat Full of Sky’. This fast paced story of a girl who discovers her powers as a witch and becomes a woman in her own right, is just the right sort of motivation any kid needs to grow up. Another one of his books for kids which I simply adored was ‘The Amazing Maurice and his educated Rodents’. Quite a twist on the old Pied Piper tale. Simply precious..

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Terry Pratchett. Yes, he has quite the imagination, and the most inspirational characters I have ever read.

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vani September 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Noddy books πŸ™‚ my first introduction to world of novels.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Hi Vani, great to have you here. Do visit often, and participate in all future giveaways πŸ™‚

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Êsha September 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I used to love enid’s stories as a child. I think every child should begin their reading journey with her books. She has books to interest every stage of age. I grew up with noddy, famous five, adventure island. But my favourite has been series of the enchanted faraway tree. It was amazing how she brought life to all the characters living inside that tree. I so wanted to live along with them in that magical tree and have all the adventures they had. It is a wonderful book. To my dismay it belonged to a library n i had to give it back. Anywayr i had an amazing time with the read and made me dream alot. I’m a huge fan of Enid Blyton.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I have very few memories from my childhood, but I distinctly remember lying on the bed, head propped up by all the pillows in the house, reading the Faraway Tree and laughing so hard. It was Moon Face I think who made me laugh so much. I wonder if I should read the book again πŸ™‚

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Sreeja September 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

hey,

Well i’m sure you know who my favourite children’s author. But i’ll just mention it anyway…it most certainly is Diana Wynne Jones. Followed closely by Roald Dahl. And my favourite Enid Blyton book is the faraway tree series. The food in that was so fantastic. In fact reading an Enid Blyton would always make me hungry with the lemonade, ginger ale, steak and kidney pudding (which btw im sure i wouldn’t even eat, etc. And i never wanted nimbu paani…. lemonade was so much cooler. You know this is before the days of satellite television or google. And like most things food looks and tastes so much better in your imagination than on tv.

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admin September 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hi Sreeja, yup I remember discovering Wynne Jones at the same time as you. Remember Dogsbody? Sirius? I think all Blyton readers were under the lemonade is cooler than nimbu paani illusion. And still are perhaps :/

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Sreeja September 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

can i ever forget dogsbody or sirius? or the way she handles “romance” / “love” in her books? sigh!

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admin September 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

Oh Êsha!!! How sad you had to give the book back to the library. But, the good news is you won! And maybe its an Enid Blyton that might come home to you, and maybe you could read it, or make another kid happy πŸ™‚

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Deepika Mital September 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I know I am late…but still cant let this one go without putting my two bit in – we grew up on Enid Blyton, well before the days that she was considered politically incorrect and thus now we have Bowdlerised versions…we read the books with all their references to natives and golliwogs with not an inkling that WE were the natives etc etc!!
But even so, even in hindsight – i simply love her vision and ability to make boring afternoons so impossibly fun, to transport us into a land that we had never seen, but loved all the same.
I think Faraway Tree remains a hot favourite – just for the randomness of the story – where you reached…
The famous Five, the St Clairs and Mallory Towers with their lacrosse (still dont know WHAt ARE those games) and Brit schoolgirl code of honour!!The Mamzelles who were mocked for their French accent (considering they WERE French – kinda strange now that one thinks about it!)
So anyway, Enid Blyton is an inseparable part of growing up and yeah, lemonade and tongue sandwiches rocked – at least on the printed page !

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Aditya October 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

+1 for Nestbit, I still re-read “Five Children and It” every chance I get. Its true that Blyton made you feel like going out on a picnic with packed sandwiches was the best thing in the world. Also, John Bellairs is as American as Blyton is British.

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