Enid Mary Blyton was a British children's writer known as both Enid Blyton and Mary Pollock, which was her real name. She was one of the most successful children's storytellers of the twentieth century. Once described as a "one-woman fiction machine", she is noted for numerous series of books based on recurring characters and designed for different age groups. Her books have enjoyed popular success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 400 million copies. Blyton is the sixth most translated author worldwide: over 3400 translations of her books were available in 2007 according to UNESCO's Index Translationum; she is behind Lenin and almost equal to Shakespeare. One of her most widely known characters is Noddy, intended for early years readers. However, her main forte is the young readers' novels, where children ride out their own adventures with minimal adult help. In this genre, particularly popular series include The Famous Five (consisting of 21 novels, 1942 – 1963, based on four children and their dog), The Five Find-Outers and Dog, (15 novels, 1943-1961, where five children regularly outwit the local police) as well as The Secret Seven (15 novels, 1949 – 1963, a society of seven children who solve various mysteries). Her work involves children's adventure stories, and fantasy, sometimes involving magic. Her books were and still are enormously popular in Britain, Malta, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Australia; and as translations in the former Yugoslavia, Japan, and across most of the globe. Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages.
Blyton's life is set to be turned into a BBC movie for the first time later in 2009. Academy Award nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter will be portraying Blyton in the movie. Filming is set to commence on the week beginning 9 March 2009, and will be aired in Britain on BBC Four later in 2009. Bonham Carter is set to star alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson who will be playing Blyton's first husband Hugh Pollock and Blyton's second husband Kenneth Darrell Waters respectively.
Excellent for children aged 7-12.
She wrote very enjoyable books for all ages, from Noddy to the Adventure series. But parents should be aware that it is fatally easy for a child to read virtually nothing but Enid Blyton books, which isn't good.
Not the greatest of literary styles, but a fantastic story-teller of the un-put-downable kind. Great for getting kids hooked on reading (turns 98% of children into reading-under-the-covers-by-torchlight-after-lights-out bookworms) but, as other reviewers have said, important that once they have the bug, they do move on to other authors!
I've read a couple of The Famous Five books when I was about twelve. Great reading for that age. I think, books like this make a happy childhood. I remember trying to pull some investigations of my own. Enid Blyton was truly a great writer. She always knew how to use hooks in fiction , so that she kept the reader's attention till the very last page.
- Reading age: Varied. Noddy books are picture books, while her most famous books are the adventure/mystery books, which are suitable for 8+
- Read aloud age: Varied.
List of books
Blyton wrote many series:
- The Famous Five series
- The Adventure series
- The Noddy books
- The Secret Seven series
- The Malory Towers series
- The St. Clare's series
- The Magic Faraway Tree series
- The Barney Mystery series
- The Circus series
- The Five Find-Outers
- The Mistletoe Farm series
- The Naughtiest Girl series
- The Mary Mouse series
- The Wishing Chair series
- ↑ "Index Translationum Statistics". Index Translationum. UNESCO. Retrieved on 2007-07-12. This index contains titles in all the translated languages. The top five are: Walt Disney Productions, Agatha Christie, Jules Verne, Shakespeare, Lenin, and the next five: Enid Blyton, Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Hans Christian Andersen, and Stephen King.