When I was a child my favourite book in the whole world was ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton, I was just obsessed by it I think it was because it involved trees and my favourite thing in the world as a five year old was climbing tree and exploring the woods all day where we lived with my friends.
Roll on 31 years, Miss L doesn’t go out on her own, or with a group of kids in a gang like I did, that society died a long time ago. She plays for maybe 30 minutes a day in the garden, stays on the grass and really has no interest. She loves “Rough Science” on Discovery Science, Hider in the House and playing on the Wii. She especially loves imaginary games with ‘the gang’ who consist of Princess Leia, Good Darth Vader, and all the Tweenies – especially Bella!.
I think it’s tragic, that despite living in a very rural town that she can’t have the childhood my husband and I did. So last night I decided to introduce her to “The Faraway Tree” as a taste of what life used to be. It was written in the late 1930’s/early 1940’s and the language is very much of that time. At first she refused point blank to hear it, ‘there aren’t any pictures’…..’I want Charlie and Lola!!’. Then I started reading it to her and she became entranced, and the questions started “How can they go into the wood without their Mummy, isn’t she worried about them?’, “Joe is staying out all night, in the woods??”….it just made me sad to realise how little freedom she has in comparison to what we had.
Anyway, after 6 chapters she was hooked and I was ordered to buy more Enid Blyton books from the book store today! So I’ve got the other Faraway Tree books and the first two “Famous Five”, which I think she’ll enjoy.
And you know the best bit, at 7am this morning she got into bed with me clutching the book and asked to read another few chapters before we had to get ready for school. My baby now has a love for literature 🙂