I thought I would share with you today a short article I found in the Reader's Digest email newsletter. It talks about the modernization of the classic children books by Enid Blyton.
Not long ago we ran a reader's poll from the newsletter about your favourite fictional travel destination and were surprised that the top five were all created by children's authors. One was Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree. Did you know that there are at least two text editions of this book around? The publisher decided that aspects of the book were unsuitable for today's kids and so changed elements (like the name 'Fanny', which became 'Franny') while keeping the essential story unaltered... It's just been announced that Blyton's publishers are turning their attentions to the Famous Five. This time it's not to 'protect' the young reader but supposedly to attract him or her, by changing usage and dialogue that sounds old-fashioned. Let's hope it's not time and effort wasted, and phrases like 'jeepers', 'golly gosh', 'mercy me' and 'it's all very peculiar' don't suddenly spring back into fashion. Just think, gg and mm would serve well in text messaging...The Famous Five books have had an eventful history: at one point they were banned by librarians and educators around the world because of the suspicion that if they were so popular with kids they must be somehow unhealthy. Hodder and Stoughton publish ten 'contemporary' Famous Five books this month, starting with Five on a Treasure Island. Do you consider this enlightened, or misguided, given that, according to the Guardian, Hodder already sells more than half a million copies of the classic-edition Famous Five books a year? Blyton, who died in 1968, has sold more than 500 million books and still features in the top ten of most borrowed children's authors from public libraries in her home country.
I definitely don't agree. They shouldn't be allowed to change past works, especailly since the Enid's classic are still best sellers. The people obviously like them just the way they are!