Friday, February 18, 2011

Down Memory Lane - The Magic Faraway Tree

and anything else by Enid Blyton. Let the critics say what they will, but this author must have done something right. Why else would generations of kids all love her books? The Magic Faraway Tree was a personal favourite (as was the Magic Faraway Tree Again), and I read it over and over again.

I first read it at the age of six or seven, but even at the age of 12 or 13, when my reading level was way beyond it, I'd still revisit it from time to time, and always enjoyed it as much as ever.

If there's one thing Enid Blyton knows how to do, it's keep the reader turning the pages. She hooks them on plot, has them bursting to find out what happens next, and makes sure the payoffs are worthwhile.

I loved climbing that tree, entering those magical lands, eating those toffee shocks, sliding down the slippery slip, making friends with Silky, fearing Dame Washalot.

Literary 'experts' might bag Enid Blyton, but in my opinion, writers can learn a lot from her bestselling books.


  1. What a timely post! I was just reading this to my kids tonight! we are nearly at the end of the second one. They all LOVE it so much (they are 9, 8 and 6 years old).

    I adored it as a kid too.

    and reading it as an adult, I can see that the prose itself is very average, but the imagination and sense of adventure is huge. and I think that's what captures children!

  2. Yep, I agree. Kids aren't so much interested in the beauty of language per se as a rippingly good story.

  3. Literary 'experts' can bag their heads. I adored Enid Blyton, she showed me there was more to life than a dull little town in rural Australia. She taught me to love my imagination! My jaw dropped the first time I heard The Magic Wishing Chair. Thanks for defending her, Robyn. Shall we raise our ginger beer glasses? Absolutely. jxx