dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #215
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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