12 Mar 2011


Though I can't say that I was a huge lover of Enid Blyton, I loved her FARAWAY TREE BOOKS with Jo, Bessie and Fanny (now, thanks to political correctness, known as Joe because the character is a boy and Joe is the more accepted spelling, Beth, and  Frannie because Fanny is slang for the vagina in some countries, England included) who had wonderful adventures in the lands that came and went in the clouds above the tree. Ah, how I loved to visit Moonface, Silky, the Saucepan man (pictured left), and especially, Dame Washalot who always reminded me of my nana.
Not just popular with my generation, recently Enid Blyton books have seen an increase in both popularity and sales with a whole new era of readers enjoying her stories - imagine then how exciting it is to learn that a 'lost' book has recently been discovered.

Mr Tumpy's Caravan is a 180-page fantasy story about a magical caravan with a mind of its own who, together with Mr Tumpy, his friends and a dog called Bun-Dorg, crosses an ocean before facing a dog-headed dragon in an attempt to save a princess's land. Click HERE to read more and to see video footage.

Yet another book to be recently unearthed ......

 A 'MACABRE' DAPHNE DU MAURIER SHORT STORY has been discovered 70 years later.
The Doll, written around 1928, tells of a man who becomes infatuated with a woman he meets at a party. He visits her home, only to discover the real object of her affection: a life-size, mechanical male doll.
A dark story of obsession and jealousy, t is one of 13 du Maurier short stories in a new anthology to be published in May. - Anita Singh, the Telegraph, 21/02/2011

Going back to childhood favourites, I asked my mam if there were any books that I read and re-read as a little girl.

Her answer? When I was really, really small it turns out I loved THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle which was first published a year after I was born, then, a little older, my favourite book which apparently I read and read and read again was  a Disney book based on the film SONG OF THE SOUTH, author unknown.

The reason I asked?

Well .........

Children who demand the same story be read to them over and over may be learning more than those who choose a different tale every time, according to academics.
Research at the University of Sussex has found that repetition in reading storybooks is more likely to help a child acquire a broader vocabulary.
The study is published in Frontiers In Psychology - click HERE to read.
 - the Telegraph, 21/02/2011

So, what were your favourite stories as a child? And do you think the re-reading of books really does help vocabulary?

PLEASE NOTE - Whenever I use newspaper articles I will always endeavour to post  the links to the full item if possible.


Nikki-ann said...

Without a doubt the one book I re-read lods when I was a kid was Brer Rabbit. My poor dad had to first read it to my brother and then a couple of years later to me, then when I could read I'd read it for myself. Dad always got tongue-tied because it's all Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear etc. I loved it!

I always wanted a Hungry Caterpillar book when I was a kid, never did get one though. I'm tempted to buy one for my niece!

Misha said...

I used to worship Enid Blyton as a kid. I have read all of her books. My favorite was the Mystery series. I don't know whether re-reading helps the vocabulary but I did re-read all of Enid Blyton's books a lot of times.

Jenners said...

I had a great uncle named cranny and now his name takes on a whole new meaning!

And I do believe that the more you read, the greater your vocabulary and the better you will spell too.

Vivienne said...

I am over the moon about the Enid Blyton book. I can't wait to see it released.

Kelly said...

My kids would have favorites that they'd want me to read over and over.

I did a "favorite five" entry with my favorite children's books. I started reading at an early age and haven't stopped yet!

dr.antony said...

I used to re read stories many times.But after so many years I can reproduce these stories verbatim now.I am sure it helps to improve retaining information.

Dorte H said...

I wonder why Danish children were not treated to Dame Washalot? We had to make do with the Famous Five.

No, honestly, I don´t think it is necessary to re-read books to give children a large vocabulary. One must assume that if you read ten different Enid Blyton books, a very large part of the vocabulary will be the same. An adventure is an adventure no matter which book you read about it. But of course children should be allowed to listen to their favourite stories again and again.

Boonie S said...

I'm a great supporter of political correctness, but I don't see the need to change Jo and Fanny. If they were the names so be it - surely it's of value to know that you don't snigger at other folks names and that's that.

Have a nice day, Boonie

naida said...

The du Maurier story sounds creepy. I have yet to read her.
I do think that re-reading helps vocab, especially with repetition.
Great post :)

Dizzy C said...

The Magic Faraway Tree were fun.
I saw re-releases of these in a bookshop only a couple of weeks ago.

Others I remember were Pippi Longstocking, The Lion, witch and wardrobe, Huckleberry Finn


tattytiara said...

Interestingly enough, I recently saw an article that said kids who watch the same videos over and over again don't do as well as kids who only watch them once. Not all repetition is equal!

This was my obsession as a child - fortunately for my mother it was a collection of stories and I was happy with any she chose to read:


chitra said...

Hi PW,
Me back after a break.Missed many posts of my dear friends.

I was more interested in reading Indian classical books. Even now when I read it is more of Indian authors .R.K Narayan my fav. and as I like humour I also like Wodehouse.