Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dumbing Down Kiddie Lit

My mother-in-law sent me a link to this article. I'm sure it caught her attention because she has sent us so many Enid Blyton's books. I will admit that I have had to look up (or ask our walking dictionary, Ram) a few words to answer the Lambs questions as we read Blyton's books. I don't know all the British vocabulary. We don't own The Adventures of the Wishing Chair that was mentioned in this article, but we have made it through all of the Blyton books that we have read without any problems more than looking a few words up.

I don't know what this author's problem is because I loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia and I can't wait to read it to the Lambs. I haven't read Swallows and Amazons yet, but it is highly recommended by Loopers. When I taught at a classical Lutheran school I learned the value of reading the real classics like Bambi and Little Mermaid instead of the Disney versions.

Beatrix Potter and also Enid Blyton are classics that no one should tamper with the way they wrote it. These are classics that show the time period they were written in. Part of the beauty of these classics is to learn more about the time period these books were written in. If you have a problem with it, DON'T READ IT. It's that simple. If they change Blyton's books, what other classic children's literature will be next? People don't want to increase their vocabulary. They want everything handed to them as easy as watching a movie. The Lambs love Beatrix Potter and the vocabulary doesn't bother them. I read real Beatrix Potter to them, not an adaptation. I just went through our library and gave away all the adaptations as I wanted them to read real Beatrix Potter and real Washington Irving when they are old enough.

As for the little girl's character name mentioned in the end of this article, I probably never would have thought of that if I hadn't read this article. I guess I'm too naive that I would have just thought about that being her name. Now that I've read this article I'll have a difficult time reading this book without laughing. Big sigh from Ewe here.

The article mentioned that Enid Blyton wrote about 800 titles. We probably own about 30. Lamb 1 and 2 enjoy them and I do too. We've probably read about 1/3 of those that we own. We'll continue to read the original versions, not the updated ones here at Agnus Dei Lutheran Academy.

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