Friday, October 23, 2009

Fabbo Friday and Fab, Magical Books

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I picked up a heap of children's books on Wednesday in King Street. Two of my favourites were this lovely deluxe copy of Enid Blyton's masterpiece, Adventures of the Wishing Chair, illustrated by Georgina Hargreaves. I've never seen my daughter so excited as when I read Enid to her. She kicks her legs, screams and cheers for favourite character such as the pixie Chinky and is totally engrossed in the magic. I have to admit, I enjoy them as much as Daisy.
Another lovely book is The Pixie O' Harris Gift Book. I really adore these old books set in Australia. Pixie O' Harris, an illustrator and writer, brings all the early influences of her Welsh upbringing to her work. Her family emigrated to Australia in 192o. She is a really fascinating character and worthy of a Blog post of her own.
Speaking of fascinating characters, what about Maurice Sendak's rant to The Guardian this week, telling parents who are concerned that Where The Wild Things Are might be too frightening for children to 'go to Hell!"
I have to cheer him on because, although I am one of those over-protective parents when it comes to daily life, I do like stories, Enid Blytons, fairy tales etc to be untampered with. I want the politically correct brigade to leave them alone and not sanitise everything for our children. I firmly believe that we have to show our children through our tales that the woods are not always safe places to travel, that wolves do wear their fur on the inside (a major theme of my Witches Of Paris) and warn to always keep to the path! I do love golliwogs and I hate names in Enid's books being changed and girls suddenly put in charge etc. If you want to read the passionate outburst by Maurice, here is the link.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am going to be busy culling papers and cleaning the little brick cottage. The Scribe is talking about his book on Saturday at the Marrickville Historical Society. I always get more nervous than he does! Enjoy your weekend and I hope it is filled with magic and books! xx
The adventures really began on the day that Mollie and Peter went out to buy a present for their Mother's birthday.
Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton


  1. What a delightful post, Josephine! I'm a big fan of Enid Blyton!! I remember as a little girl how my mom would bring me to the bookstore every week to choose a new Enid Blyton book! It will always make my day:)

    The adventures of the Wishing Chair and The magic Faraway Tree were my favourites!!

  2. Oh I couldn't agree more re: not sanitizing everything for children... they need to learn about the world. If they live in a bubble of makebelieve then the reality will be harsher when it hits. These books look wonderful. I love reading to children... I used to read to groups of children when I worked in a bookstore straight out of university... Have a wonderful weekend! xo

  3. I love Pixie O'Harris, do post about her. Is it a new copy of her book or a pre-loved? I love the Fairy Who Wouldn't fly

  4. 'Adventures of the Wishing Chair' was one of my favourite first books. My copy was not illustrated, how much better I think now if it had been.

    I agree with Sendak's, "Go to Hell". Just nonsense.

    'Witches of Paris', have you published a collection of your stories. Where can I read these? Also you mentioned on my blog 'Fantasy novels', I am intrigued ...

    Your posts are little adventures of their own ... there is definitely an aura of magic about your writing.

    Have a good weekend.

    PS Good luck to the Scribe. x

  5. i love 'where the wild things are', and agree it's ridiculous to say it's too scary. i think it's one of the most perfect picture books, the writing, the illustrations and the unfettered imagination of it! and as you say, fairy tales are meant to warn of the darker aspects of life and safely give vent to otherwise transgressive behavior.

  6. I love to read your posts. You manage to find such interesting things to share! I had missed Sendak's 'rant' and am fascinated to read it. I totally agree that old traditional stories should stay as they are. The best stories should help children to make sense and find the magic in the world around them. That's why I read avidly now just as I did as a child. Thanks also for your lovely and supportive comments on my blog xx

  7. I love reading your posts - you always find something interesting to share. I had missed Sendak's 'rant' and was interested to read it. I totally agree that stories shouldn't be messed around with. The old traditional stories can be dark because they reflect life. They help kids deal with the world around them. That's why I'm an avid reader and always have been. By the way we LOVE 'Where the Wild Things Are' in our family! Thanks so much for your lovely supportive comments on my blog too. xx

  8. Hey! Hope you have a good weekend too! I know what you mean above...things should not be tampered with in this way... and I should really read more Enid Blyton... xxx

  9. I remember these so well bought back such memories. Have a wonderful weekend, xv.

  10. Thank you Josephine for leaving me such nice comment today and for beeing my first follower over on my new shop blog!
    I share a love for old children books and fairytales with you!
    Warmest wishes from Boxwood Cottage in Germany sends you
    xoxo Carola

  11. I'm guessing that if the same people who worry over things like, "Where the Wild Things Are", read the original versions of fairy tales, their heads would explode.

  12. oh what a delightful post, I agree

    and I love the Wishing Chair...memories...


  13. A bit of fear never hurt anyone. Look at The Wizard of Oz...I was scared out of my wits!

  14. Dear Josephine,I have just come across your blog and love it.I love reading Enid Blyton to my 7 year old daughter.We have done the whole Wishing Chair series and The Faraway Tree series.Most of the copies I have are the ones with the Georgina Hargraves illustrations but I had to buy a couple of new sanitised versions.Fanny has become Frannie,Dick has become Rick and and Dame Slap has become Dame Snap!!!!

  15. P.S.Happy Birthday for tomorrow!

  16. Hi Josephine
    thankyou for the sweet comment on my blog,
    I too love Enid Blyton books my fav being The Faraway tree series tho I also liked the wishing chair ones and later secret seven
    it's my mam's birthday tomorrow too!
    Happy birthday butterfly wishes glad your daughter liked my fairy header


Thanks ever so for your comment! I love feedback! xx