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  1. 1

    Lee Schmidt

    I want to cry! But then, at least I got to read the stories as they were. And perhaps we should just be glad that kids are keen to read.

  2. 2


    I want to go out immediately and hunt down old copies of the Blyton books before I consider having children in case there aren’t any left by the time I do procreate 😉

    That said; this is not unique to Blyton. Consider the “Disney-fication” of the original fairytales. For example, The Little Mermaid that kids watch on dvd is a far cry from the original Hans Christian Andersen version, and in this case, I’m not surprised. The original fairytales were often quite disturbing and considered inappropriate for young kids. Of course, when I read the original story as an older child (probably around 12), I was moved by it to the point of tears – something the Disney version could never inspire.

    I must admit that having to explain to a child why one of the Faraway Tree characters is called by a name that’s a synonym for vagina might be quite daunting. But I’d rather have to endure that embarrassing conversation than wrap all children in cottonwool and have them miss out on the wonders of the original literary works.

    Then again, I’m not a parent yet. But I’d let my hypothetical kids read Blyton sans filtering. I might make them wait quite a few years before progressing to Chaucer, but even then I wouldn’t wnat them to read a “clean” version and miss out on the original language and all the discussions it might inspire.

  3. 3


    Mmmm, I’ve got mixed feelings about this.  I do agree that perhaps the Dick and Fanny should go because we live in a less innocent age, and when I used to read Enid Blyton to my kids I would also change bits, especially the ones when they call their cat!  However, modernising the language (peculiar to strange) is just not on – we have to keep as much variety in our vocabulary as possible.  Enid Blyton did not have the best vocabulary to start with, and I regret that I was so stuck on her to the detriment of other writers (a lack for which I made up much later in life) but her stories were amazing and the best way to encourage children to read.  But Enid Blyton should really be seen in context – her books are not really good literature and therefore they should be able to stand a lot of tinkering,  However, doing the same to Arthur Ransome or E Nesbitt would be criminal, and let’s be thankful the thought police have not yet got round to Lewis Carroll, Toad and Ratty, and AA Milne.

  4. 4

    Mandy Collins

    One can only wonder what revisionists will do with Winnie the Pooh!

  5. 5


    You would be referring to corporal punishment, and not capital punishment, as an acceptable form of discipline in the day, I am sure.

  6. 6

    Caryn Gootkin

    I certainly am, error corrected thanks to the beady eye of my UK colleague @cjhancock. Thanks, Tracy.

  7. 7

    Caryn Gootkin

    And poor Noddy and Big Ears used to be such good chums. They particularly enjoyed sleepovers. Alas, no more. 

  8. 8

    Caryn Gootkin

    Be fruitful and multiply. We need more kids like your hypotheticals and more parents like you would be.

  9. 9


    I have recently started reading the Faraway Tree series to my kids since I read them all when I was growing up and have reread them more times than I can remember.  I was completely disappointed with the changes that have been made and feel it is completely unnecessary.  Imagine if every book that was written back then had to be “revised” – what would be left for our kids.  My son (6) and daughter (3) love the books and have never asked me why the characters are called Fanny or Bessie…..
    If anyone out there has the original books – I will happily buy them and read them to my kids without a second thought.

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