Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author. She wrote over 600 books and hundreds of short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.
Gr 2-5-Originally published in 1942, this title is from the British children's mystery series The Famous Five, written by Enid Blyton. Despite a good dramatic reading by actress Jan Francis, the story is quite dated and contains sex-role and cultural stereotypes that would make even the most politically incorrect cringe. Sensitive, fearful, pouty Anne sticks close to tomboy George (short for Georgina) while the boys, Julian and Dick, take the lead in initiating most of the action in the story, which includes teasing the girls. The only appealing character is George's dog, Timmy, the fifth of the Famous Five, but even he seems to think that girls are silly and boring and sneaks off at night to explore an abandoned railroad yard with the boys. More evidence that this is a relic from bygone days is the hard-to-believe premise that children would be allowed to go off on a practically unsupervised camping trip with a forgetful, eccentric schoolmaster. The whoops and scalpings of a game of "Red Indians" further doom this offering. Skip this anachronism and choose something worthwhile from the growing body of genuine children's literature in audiobook format.-Mary Ellen Aureli, Lewiston Porter Elementary School, Youngstown, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.