Parents either love her old fashioned, jolly hockey-sticks style, or regard her as outdated at best, bigoted (and even racist) at worse.
Recent figures from Amazon.co.uk have her on the top ten best-sellers of the decade, and statistics from public libraries regularly put her in the top 10 most borrowed children's authors.
This summer, books from her Famous Five series - first published in 1942 - have undergone 'sensitive' revisions, to make them, according to publisher Hodder, 'timeless' and as 'appealing and accessible to today's reader' as when they were originally written.
'I don't think they should be updated,' says Lucy, mum of two pre-school boys, 'I love the archaic slang and to my son, it's just new words. I much prefer 'you are a hoot, old thing' to LOL! I think anything that gets kids reading is good, no matter how rubbish it seems.
'There's a knack for writing stuff that kids read and she had it. I've heard of parents banning Blyton. Supposedly liberal parents banning books. Ridiculous.'
Or maybe it was our teacher reading a book out loud one day during story time - she got a few pages into a Famous Five story before stopping and asking 'seriously, you want to read this?'. We all shook our heads. It was simply the most appalling writing ever, and I remember feeling really shocked. Why had I not noticed it before?
I went home and binned my entire collection.
On that basis, I definitely won't be encouraging my son to read them - he's young enough for me to discreetly direct him away from them at the moment, and when he gets older if he does want to borrow them from the library I'll explain that I don't like them. But having said that, I wouldn't stop him - and I'd read them to him if he asked me. I can't say it will be with any enthusiasm though!'
Did Enid Blyton foster your love of reading?
Will you introduce her books to your children? Or is she outdated and irrelevant in 2010, 'polished' or not?
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