Review Blog

Jun 02 2011

The Magic Fairy Folk Collection by Enid Blyton

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Egmont, 2011. ISBN 9781405257572.
If you go to a person's house and you see their garden has a special place for the little folk, with wishing wells, toadstools, a birdhouse or two and butterflies and fairies dancing from overhead branches, and little gnomes fishing in a pond or resting on a rock, then there is a fair chance that person has been touched with a bit of fairy dust.  And if you go inside and find that Miss Nearly 5's bedroom is more like the inside of a fairy dell, complete with misty, starry sky, then you can be assured of it.
So it's no wonder that that person loves Enid Blyton's tales of the magical folk who so entranced her that she was reading before she went to school, and that she is going to share that enchantment with her own little folk. And when a compendium of some of the most-loved tales is published, that person is going to pounce on it and instead of reading her university texts, she's going to transport herself back to her childhood.
So that's what I've been doing. This collection comprises The Book of Fairies, The Book of Pixies and The Book of Brownies and has over 50 separate stories that are just the right length for reading aloud as a bedtime story and sending little ones off to sleep with gentle magical thoughts.
But if I take my grandma's hat off and put my teacher librarian one on, my experience is that these stories are a great transition between the instructional home reader and the independence of the 'chapter book'. Because each story is complete in itself, even though it is only a few pages long, young readers manage this "new reading" well and my library collection always had a great selection of Blyton's stories available that were very popular. This compendium would have been a brilliant addition.
Politically correct or not, old-fashioned or not, I'm putting my hand up to say I am a Blyton fan and her stories have pride of place in my personal collection. Perhaps it's time to take this generation back and introduce them to an old favourite.
Barbara Braxton

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