As featured in Parentdish

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Enid Blyton

A has just finished reading the last in the Malory Towers’ series, and it brought back memories of how I loved them when I was her age. Like me she mispronounces Alicia’s name, although unlike me she has no excuse as I have told her how it is pronounced.

About a year ago I started to encourage her to read Enid Blyton books as today’s equivalent (a large series of books on about twenty different fairies) really didn’t engage her. When we sat reading together I could tell that she just wasn’t into them. And it didn’t surprise me; the stories were very slow.

It had been a long time since I had read an Enid Blyton book so I did cringe at a few things – the use of the word shan’t being one, but I still thing her books are great for kids.

Finland’s literacy figures have fallen slightly. Recently I read that they are attributing it to fewer boys reading for pleasure. We regularly ‘forget’ to do H’s reading homework. At the moment we are reading a chapter of Horrid Henry a night together so he really doesn’t need it. I also want them to think of reading as something fun they do with their dad or me, not something to be done for the teacher.

When Harry Potter first hit the bookshops many primary teachers were very against it, not wanting children to read it. So many of them were against the books that I remember hearing someone question a primary teacher on whether she was for or against them. It was obviously a big thing amongst teachers.

I know that the fact that it was about magic bothered some people but having half watched some of the films I have not been struck by any satanic messages running through the storylines. 

Instead of pushing children to be reading and four, shouldn’t we just be encouraging them to be enjoying books?

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