Did You Know?
Enid Blyton has published a total of 762 books over a span of 40 years, sometimes, having published as many as 50 books in just a year. According to UNESCO's Index Translationum, she is the fifth most popular author in the world.
Enid Blyton (August 11, 1897 - November 28, 1968) was born in East Dulwich, South London, UK. She is the most celebrated children's writers of her time. Her books have always been among the world's bestsellers, and have sold over 600 million copies so far. Her books were often about children's adventures and mystery stories, or fantasies that involved magic.
Her books have vivid descriptions of various places as well as characters. The talking trees, enchanted forests, flying cottages, spells, and brooms always take her young readers to a completely different world. Her tales have managed to enthrall millions of children across the globe for several decades. Let us see some of her finest works.
The Christmas Book was published by Blyton in 1944. The book describes a family's Christmas experience when the four children, Benny, Susan, Ann, and Peter, come back home from school for the holidays. The book explains various legends behind Christmas.
The book gives answers to various questions related to Christmas like "How did Christmas begin?", "Why is Christmas pudding called plum pudding?", "Why do we have turkey on Christmas?", and so on. It is a must-read for all the kids, especially around Christmas to get into the festive mood.
Written in 1938, Mr. Galliano's Circus is the first book of Blyton's Circus series. It is a lovely tale of a young boy named Jimmy Brown, who falls in love with the circus in his town. Jimmy is the son of an ordinary carpenter, and therefore, has no hope of getting a ticket to the circus.
One day, while walking around the field where the circus is set up, he makes friends with Lotta, a pretty girl from the circus who rides horses. Through her, he gets to know the various people of the circus: Lilliput, the man with the monkeys, Stanley, the clown, Jumbo, the elephant, and Mr. Galliano himself.
Jimmy instantly falls in love with the circus and is invited to join it, after he proves of help when the elephant runs away. The book is filled with heartwarming stories of these characters and gives a detailed account of life in a circus.
Claudine at St. Clare's, published in 1944, is Blyton's fifth novel in the St. Clare's series of nine books. The series revolves around the life of students at a boarding school of the same name, through the main characters: Patricia and Isabel O'Sullivan.
The book introduces four new girls in school: Claudine, Eileen, Pauline, and Angela along with a new, evil matron. The girls get into trouble when Claudine locks the matron in the cupboard during a feast.
Although the book is mostly dominated by Claudine's antics, the other characters play significant roles as well. The book teaches kids how to behave well and tries to inculcate moral values. For example, the girls, who belong to different classes, are taught to respect each other despite their differences.
Noddy Goes to the Fair is the 21st book in the Noddy series. The book was published in 1954 and describes the main character, Noddy's adventure at a fair.
Noddy is a kind, little wooden boy who lives in Toyland with his other toy friends like Mr. Big Ears, Mr. Wobbly Man, Tessie Bear, and Dinah Doll. He is a taxi driver who loves driving around the town in his red and yellow taxi.
The arrival of Noddy is often characterized by his taxi's "parp, parp". The character has been portrayed as someone who is helpful and honest; however, he always ends up getting into trouble. In the book, the story starts with how Noddy wants to go to a fair in the town. The book proceeds with the various hurdles that he has to overcome for the same.
The Naughtiest Girl in the School, written in 1940, is the first book in Blyton's The Naughtiest Girl series. The story revolves around Elizabeth Allen, a spoiled girl, whose misbehavior provokes her governess to leave.
The girl is, therefore, sent to Whyteleafe School, a boarding school. In the attempt to be expelled from the school so as to get back home, she misbehaves at school too. She is rude and unfriendly to everyone and keeps creating nuisance.
However, she slowly makes friends with her classmates and starts loving the school. She especially shares a close bond with Joan Townsend, a very sweet girl, who convinces Elizabeth to behave well. The various incidents at the school are very entertaining, and keep the readers engaged.
The Enchanted Wood, published in 1939, is the first book in the Faraway Series. The other three books are Magic Faraway Tree (1943), The Folk of the Faraway Tree (1946), and Up the Faraway Tree (1951).
All the books are set in a magical forest, which has a gigantic tree named the Faraway Tree. In The Enchanted Wood, the characters, Jo, Bessie, and Fanny, come across the magical wood, while exploring the countryside, where they have just moved in.
The trees are a little more dark green in color and appear to be whispering among themselves. Later, in the book, the children come across the Faraway Tree and discover the various magical creatures like the Moon-face, Silky, the fairy, and the angry pixies that the land is inhabited by.
The Secret Seven series was published by Blyton from 1945 to 1965. The series has seven main characters: Peter, Janet, Jack, Barbara, George, Pam, and Colin. They are a secret society who hold meetings to help the community in various ways.
In The Secret Seven Adventure, the second book in the series, the kids witness a thief escaping after stealing a princess pearl necklace. This sets the children into solving yet another mystery. Several mind-boggling clues later, it is finally Peter and Collin who solve the mystery and get to the culprit, with the help of the other five of course.
The Wishing Chair is a series of two novels, The Adventures of the Wishing Chair and The Wishing Chair, published in 1937 and 1950, respectively. The Wishing Chair is a story of two children, Mollie and Peter, who find a magic chair while finding a present for their mother in an antique shop.
The chair has the power to grow wings and fly. She takes the children whenever and wherever they want to go. In the story, the children go to various magical places like The Land of Dreams and Mr. Grim's School for Bad Brownies.
There, the children are met by various characters like Grabbit Gnomes, Witch Kirri-Kirri, and Winks, the brownie. When the children visit a giant's castle on one of their flights, they rescue a pixie named Chinky, who comes to live with them.
The third book of the Famous Five series, which was written in 1944, Five Run Away Together is another story filled with adventure and mystery. The book brings the five main characters, Julian, Dick, Anne, George, and Timmy, back to Cornwall.
However, the aunt has to leave soon after, and therefore, she leaves the children in care of Mrs. Sticks, her cook. The children come to hate the Sticks instantly. The matter goes out of hand when Mrs. Sticks tries to poison Timmy, the dog.
The children then flee to the Kirrin Island, where they find evidence of smugglers. They later discover that it is, in fact, the Sticks who have kidnapped a rich man's daughter, and they rescue her.
A Book of Brownies, which was first published in 1926, is a story of three brownies named Hop, Skip, and Jump. The three characters are extremely naughty, due to which they aren't invited to a party hosted by the King of Fairyland.
They are then tricked by a witch in seeking revenge from the King. She, therefore, teaches them a few spells which go wrong, resulting in the Princess Peronel's disappearance from the kingdom.
Owing to the events of the disappearance of the princess, the brownies are banished from Fairyland, and forbidden to return until they find their goodness. So, the three decide to rescue the little princess, which leads them into a series of adventures.
Enid faced a lot of criticism for presenting a rosy view of the world to the children. This, however, never got in her way. She always remained to be a favorite among children. Her books are still read with great enthusiasm, and have sold millions of copies in almost 90 languages.