30 Day Book Challenge – Day 22


22. A book you once loved, but don’t anymore. What changed?

This is another day I’m going to struggle with as I don’t tend to read books more than once.  With so many new books being released every week and numerous trips to the local charity shops to stock up, it means that I have many, many unread books on my shelves.  I therefore feel a little mean to the books I haven’t read yet to be swanning around reading a book I’ve already dedicated my time too.

Therefore my answer to the question is not going to be a book but a whole generation of books … children’s books.

Some children’s books are made for everyone but many children’s books are made just for children.  They contain characters, settings, stories and journies that can only truly come alive and be appreciated with a child’s imagination.

Take The Magic Faraway Tree for example.  When I was a child I was all like “wow, how lucky are those children being able to visit the enchanted forest and meet fairies and little mystical men with Moon-like faces or Saucepans somehow attached to their bodies and slide down trees?!”.  I can pretty much guarantee that if I read that book now I would be more like, “seriously, someone get that magnetic saucepan man a doctor! and, there is no way I’m climbing up that tree, enchanted or not!”.

When I was young, Aunt Fanny from The Famous Five didn’t have a rude name.  Narnia only existed in my head and hadn’t been provided with a CGI enhanced version of someone elses vision.  I never questioned why Roger, Billy, Johnny and Jennifer had the ridiculous surnames Red Hat, Blue Hat and Yellow Hat.  I felt concerned that Mildred Hubble was such a shoddy witch, instead of wondering why she couldn’t grasp the basics of casting a spell.  I’m now pretty sure that the caterpillar wasn’t that hungry afterall, he was just plain greedy and I’m certain that Big Giant would not go unnoticed, no matter how Friendly he was.

Of course, there are childrens books that can no doubt come to life even for an almost 32 year old.  I’m sure that if someone took the time, a pig could be taught to herd sheep.  I still attempt to move things with my eyes, Matilda style – it’s just a matter of time and concentration!  If something says “Eat Me”, I eat it then look around to see if the furniture has changed in size.

Eat Me Cake - Alice in Wonderland

It would seem that the majority of children’s books are just that – books for children and there is no way an adult can ever enjoy a children’s book in the same way a child can.

2 responses »

  1. As soon as I saw the title of this blog, I also thought of the Magical Far-away Tree. It was probably the first book I remember loving, much to the annoyance of my middle school English teacher who loathed Enid Blyton. A few years back I did re-read a couple and as much as I saw the fantastic fantasy escapism I found them quite an uncomfortable read, even allowing for the excuse of “the attitudes of their time” . Its funny just the other day I was watching Psychobitches (Sky Arts – if you have not seen it I REALLY recommend it ! Hilarious ) and one of the characters being portrayed was Blyton. . In it she was talking about her hatred of Goblins – in a way that was obviously a metaphor for antisemitism. I’d just like to say it was much funnier than that sounds. It prompted me to do a little digging and there are some very dubious stories of Blyton’s opinions . Think with an adult mind it does show in her writing, and I am not sure from what I have read that she would have been at all happy with her books being “cleaned-up” to reflect modern sensibilities.

    • I didn’t read an awful lot of Enid Blyton books as a child, I only recall The Magic Faraway Tree, The Mr Pink-Whistle stories (and the only vague recollection I have from those is that he magically fixed a small girl’s porcelain doll’s face when some nasty boys smashed it) and I tried The Famous Five but I wasn’t overly impressed. She most definitely was not my favourite author as a child and it would be very unlikely that I would revisit her work (although I did pick up an old copy of The Magic Faraway Tree some years ago with just that intention, it hasn’t happened yet). I will however, be watching Psychobitches to see what it’s like. To be honest, I rarely venture onto the Sky Arts channel unless I happen to spot something in the TV guide that I like the sound of. Thanks for the tip xx

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