Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Mother's Take on Reading Enid Blyton's Books With Her Daughter

Many of us are nostalgic about the books we read as a child. We save them, cherish them and try to revive the magical moments they presented it with when we were kids. And when the time arrives... we introduce these books to our kids and hope that they love these books as much as we did. Enid Blyton is a name that most people are familiar with and Vandana jots down what she learnt after presenting her daughter Prakriti with Enid Blyton's adventure series.

Via livemint
So when we read the first two chapters of Secret Seven Win Through together, Prakriti was utterly spellbound. The excitement of a group of kids in a faraway country resonated with the stuff she did every day with her gang downstairs. A generation earlier, it was this same sense of exclusivity and mystery evoked by “password” and “secret meeting place” that had me hooked to these books. Besides, I completely approved of those frequent references to snacks that the gang kept munching while trying to crack a case. Jam tarts, cream scones, oatmeal biscuits and homemade strawberry jam were exotic, unattainable treats in pre-liberalization India, which made reading about them all the more delightful.

But there were several words that I had to explain and I kept getting discomfited by the fact that I had to do that. “Susie!” says Peter about his second-in-command Jack's little sister, “She really has to be the most AGGRAVATING girl in the world.” I had to explain “aggravating” to Prakriti. And also “despair” and “dismay” and “splinter” when Pam says “I hate biscuits when you have to bite so hard that they splinter in your mouth.”

I thought about it later. if I had understood all this on my own when I was her age, and Prakriti needs them explained, it means my vocabulary was better than hers is. Assuming equal ability and standards of education, it just means my favourite theory is back at work: Kids these days are drowned in the pointless noise of popular culture through TV, which leaves them little time to read. The less they read, the less their vocabulary develops.
Read the entire article here. (Also, go through the comments section to see what other people had to say about this).

Image Source: Pinot & Dita

2 comments:

  1. Oh, I wish more parents would read about Sindbad the Sailor, or Arabian Nights, or Amar Chitra Katha and Chaca Choudhury. I am not grumbling just for the heck of it, but Indian stories, and stories from other countries too need to be passed on from generation to generation. Why do Blyton and Rowling hog the limelight? Sure, they have attractive book covers and the "faraway lands" they talk about are magical. But, our own Vikram and Betal stories, and Panchatantra tales are spell-binding as well - if only parents take the effort to recreate that magic through their words, voice, actions and gestures.
    I want to take this opportunity to thank my daddy who always "put me to sleep" with stories on Sindbad, Cyclops, The Argonauts, Medusa, He Man and other heroes and magical creatures. Thank you papa, my world is enriched today because of you stayed awake and wove magic for me!

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  2. I love reading my kids Enid Blyton stories even though the author belongs to a foreign land .I don't see a point to nag about it. If the story book's are good it doesn't make a difference whether you read Bikram Betal or Arabian Nights. The thing is you need to bond with your children better and make then understand the beauty of books.

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