Saturday, 29 May 2010

Crochet...and retribution?

I have always loved Enid Blyton. Always. Malory Tower, The Twins at St Clare's, Amelia Jane, The Faraway Tree, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven...endless books that carried me through my childhood.

I was completely delighted when the eldest pixie became enthralled by the stories too and we are really enjoying reading together.

Until Naughty Amelia Jane. Quite an innocent read, as I remembered. Toys and a big naughty doll. But all the stories seem to follow the same pattern:

Amelia Jane plays tricks, pisses the Toys off, gets punished, says sorry, and does new naughty bad things in the next story.

One paragraph, describing Amelia Jane after leaving her shoes outside in the rain:

"...what you want is a good smacking." And they turned her over and gave her such a smacking that she cried a puddle on the floor.

I know the book was written in 1946 and discipline back then probably did mean a good hiding, but seriously? What kind of a message does it send to our children?

Trying to parent in a gentle way, and telling our children that hands are not for hitting, kind of goes out of the window.

When I read the above, I felt sick in my stomach. It's only about a doll, but still. Pixie's face was a little white too.

So we are still reading the books, but I am omitting some of the phrasing about smacking and punishing.

My latest crochet projects. I re-did my hat. Because it was crap. It looked like a parachute.

I'm rather pleased with the flower on my hat.

Still can't read patterns though :)


shell said...

Patterns are boring anyway ;-) - hats look gorgeous xxx

ruby said...

Ha!! this made me smile, when I started reading the faraway tree to Chris, all he could do was laugh and make jokes about Dick and Fanny, "together they make a babeee". Also Mr meddle is pretty gross now, he is always peering at some little girls knickers!! My oh things have changed since we was kids. In fact the new additions of the books have had the names changed to richard and francis or something.

Pippa said...

I was a big fan of Enid Blyton too when I was little and DH likes to read the 'Five Finderouters' series to the children at bedtime, but I agree about the smacking stuff. As you say, even though it is an old book, it still makes pretty grim reading for a child!! I used to have the old collection of Noddy books, but I gave them away to a collector as anytime I tried to read them to my children, it was always the same, Gollies being spanked, Tubby Bear being spanked and lots of crying. Even as a child, I didn't like this much and felt sorry for the characters rather than feeling that they'd had their 'comeuppance' I guess they were written at a time when books were supposed to instill morality and discipline rather than escapism.

I love the the crochet hats, so pretty!

Michelle said...

Those hats are great.

I love Enid Blyton too but at the momement madam isn't interested in reading anything other than her Noddy Books. It'll be interesting to re-read her books as I haven't touched them in well over 20 years.

Liz said...

Ahh glad it's not just me, we started reading The Faraway Tree to K (4) because I remember loving them but they have changed the names and some of the language needs editing, as does Mrs Pepperpot!

Claire said...

Yeah, The Faraway Tree has been politically-corrected: Jo, Bessie, Fanny and Dick is now Joe with the'e', Beth and Frannie - not sure about Dick, but I'm guessing it will be Richard. No Dame Spankalot either ;) Rubles - I'll have to dig out our copy of Mr Meddle and see if he is a secret knicker-peeper! xxx

Joxy said...

You know Rye was given the faraway tree books one xmas and I did read it; but I can't remember if the names had been changed or not. I shall have to have a look.

I loved the secret seven, five finders out, famous five, mallory towers etc, I too use to have all the told books, but sadly lent them out and never got them back.

May have to do some editing tho, I can't really remember them so well.. lol apart from the glorious high teas the children enjoy ;-)