One of the things that I love about writing this blog is that sometimes I can look back at a post to remind myself when something took place. It is part of the reason why I started to write a blog in the first place and with so many things constantly vying for space in my memory, it can be really useful.
I knew that I had written a post about The Magic Faraway books by Enid Blyton, because we read them to the boys when they were younger and they thoroughly enjoyed the books as I had when I read them as a child and there it was back in July 2013, R was 9 and L was 7.
Reading these books to my children was important to me because I read them when I was a child. Growing up as an only child, when I discovered Enid Blyton and the many magical adventures in her books, I was hooked. Over the course of a couple of years, I read nearly all of the books that she had ever written. I loved them. They inspired me to read and to want to write. But of all the magical adventures, it was the three books set in the Enchanted Wood that always stood out. Looking back now, I can see that it is an early form of escapism, a story that sparks imagination. What child wouldn’t want to visit an Enchanted wood with a magical tree at its heart?
My daughter turned 7 in December and I have definitely started to see a shift away from younger books now. She is reading confidently herself and now wants longer books with chapters. At her school, they have introduced a reading journal which has a long list of activities the children can do, one of those was to find out what your parents’ favourite books were when they were young and read them. As I was telling her about the Magic Faraway Tree, I saw her face and knew that it was time to dust the books off again.
A few pages into The Enchanted Wood, she looked disappointed and said that the book wasn’t as exciting as I had made it out to be. Unperturbed, I told her to wait and see.
A week later and we are just starting the second book, The Magic Faraway Tree. I think it is safe to say that she is hooked. Each night, she is keen to go to bed early to read more and always begs for an extra chapter. Not only that, she is talking about the characters and their adventures and as I read, she is hanging on every word, often laughing at some of the silly things that happen such as Saucepan Man’s deafness. She wants to eat Pop Cakes and talked endlessly about the Land of Birthdays and how lovely it would be to have a birthday party there. She painted a beautiful picture of Moonface for her journal and is dressing up as Silky the Fairy for World Book Day.
Her enjoyment is positive on so many levels. I am enjoying the experience of reading the stories with her, we laugh together, chat about the stories and it is a special time. It is helping to inspire her to read more. She is already planning the next set of books to read after these and sticking with Enid Blyton, the Amelie Jane books are next on the list. I hope that like me, these books will be the start of a great love of reading for her and that in time, she will look back fondly on the time that we read these stories together and like me, maybe she will remember these books as the ones that inspired her to be a great reader.