dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #215

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 10 09:21:01 EDT 2000

More Enid Blyton series:

The Mr. Pinkwhistle books
the ones about the naughty bunnies (Binkie and Bottoms? Twinkie and 

I'm not sure any of us are actually *recommending* them, though. I read far 
too many of them and I'm sure my brains are softer as a consequence. My 
favourite Enid Blyton book, before I started to develop rashes at the 
mention of the name, was a collection of short stories with a hot pink 
cover. It had lots of little stories about ill-mannered, dawdling, lazy, 
rude or bored children being punished for their misdeeds, and one very 
exciting story about a group of children who start their own secret club, 
"the sturdy six", and make sure to ask Dick to join them even though he's a 
polio cripple who likes birdwatching, and the girls sew them all cunning 
little badges, and they make up a password, and they drink lashings of 
ginger ale... The book also contained some fascinating suggestions for gifts 
to make for your parents, like a blotting pad, and a jar of spills. I still 
don't know what spills are for, but I've always wanted to make them.

I do actually think the Noddy books were a tad racist. I remember how 
shocked I was the first time I realised that "golliwog" is not just the word 
for a malicious black imp. But I think some of the changes that were made to 
Blyton's books in the past decade are plain ridiculous, such as 
reillustrating the books so that Noddy and Big Ears are no longer shown 
sleeping in the same bed together - oh, horrors!

The first time someone asked me if I wanted to eat some skittles I thought 
they meant bowling pins and was deeply offended. That's what comes of 
reading the Noddy books.
(for those of you who are still in the dark, Skittles is a brand name for 
small, fruit-flavoured sweets that have a brightly colored candy shell like 
M&Ms or Smarties but are tart and chewy inside).

I used to love Madeline L'Engle, and I still like some of her books. But the 
more I read them the more sensitive I became to how sanctamonious they are. 
I don't feel inclinded to reread any of them now.


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