I was uploading a few Noddy books to Ebay and had to note ‘Gollywog Editions’ in my description. As far as my knowledge of books goes poor old Enid Blyton has had a bad run with censorship and her childrens books.
Goodbye to Golly, farewell to Dick and Fanny. I don’t even know what the new kids are called!
Blyton has written some of the most popular books for children of all time. I remember spending hours and hours reading through the Faraway Tree Books and the Children of Cherry Tree Farm.
Kids don’t care about the ‘rudeness’, they don’t know, they don’t see it, they don’t get it. Oh to have a little innocence back! And why the heck do we change and ‘update editions’ of perfectly good stories just because a meaning of a word alters! Political Correctness sometimes just borders on the ridiculous.
I so agree with you. I used to love her books as a child. And gollywogs, ahhh, I had a soft toy … and one day I lost it.. I wanted to buy a new one but they don’t sell them no more cos it’s “racist”.
You’re right, bring back the innocence!
well… I don’t entirely agree with you that kids just dont get it…
They do take it in regardless… so the question needs to be asked, what kinds of attitudes are they learning towards people of colour, from the stereotyped images of coloured people presented in these books.
If the answer is honestly a harmless one, harmless it is… but I still think its worth asking the question. Prejudice is learned somewhere, children are born curious and shy, not racist… the question is… where do they learn it?
Meh anyway just to ballance the point a little 😉
Take what in regardless? Oh look the little girl is called Fanny. Thats seems to me where the buck stops until they’ve been innundated with ‘more knowledgeable’ kids at school. Of course it’s an idealistic thing to assume innocence, I have less and less trust in that simply due to a changing culture.
Prejudice is learned somewhere but I’m in no doubt that a lot more is to do with the fact how parents and peers are, not from reading a book where ‘shock horror’ the toy that’s ‘the bad guy sometimes’ happens to be a golly-wog which just happens to be black.
And as far as I can see kids are getting less and less curious and creative and simply more happy with the ‘store bought toy’… but thats a rant I’ll chase down some other time.
I don’t think that Blyton’s books should be updated, because it sounds too much like revising history. I think they should be preserved.
But I do think some of her stuff is pretty racist, and all of her books that I’ve read are very sexist. They also portray the middle class as morally upright and intelligent, in contrast with the servants who tend to be dim-witted criminals.
shouldn’t someone be allowed to write from their cultural perspective regardless of whether it is what we perceive as wrong?
Yep. But when we read them, I reckon we should talk about the fact that they’re racists/sexist/whatever.
[…] I have expressed my sadness over themes in children’s books being chastised before. […]