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Enid Blyton's enduring appeal

The recent articles about the value of books by Enid Blyton show that the stories are still as popular as ever. They are certainly not important works of literature, but they seem to hold the interest of readers.

I wonder if some of the values that the stories depict are those that we would like to see more of in our own society?

The families are intact and function as families; children are reasonably polite and obedient; there is very little consumer awareness among the children; and they enjoy the freedom of the town and countryside.

In their activities Enid Blyton's characters value friendship, imagination and adventure. In addition, they clearly believe in helping others.

Where four-letter words seem to abound among many of today's children, those in Enid Blyton's books seem to express themselves in a gentler way.

They also do not idolise "pop" musicians; they do not spend four or five hours a day watching television and they do not consume vast quantities of crisps and sweets.

Maybe children want to be children in spite of the commercial pressures brought to bear on them; children are manipulated for their consumer spending power.

Often their world is full of hype and values that have little substance.

The Enid Blyton stories may depict an ideal world for children, but I do wish our present society was more in keeping with that world.

DOUGLAS KING 23 Wallcote Avenue Cricklewood London NW2

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