Christmas Treats – Enid Blyton

Published By: Hodder Children
Pages: 352
Released On: 05/10/2017

Delight in the magic of Christmas with this bumper collection of short stories from the world’s best-loved storyteller! Perfect for children aged 5 and up!

This hugely popular short story collection, first published in 2017, is back with a shiny new cover…

Curl up with this collection of festive short stories by Enid Blyton. From the proud rocking horse who learns the gift of giving to a snowman befriended by elves, these joyful tales celebrate the true spirit of Christmas. With lots of humour and fantastic characters, these stories will appeal to newly confident readers for reading alone as well as to younger children being read to.

Enid Blyton remains one of Britain’s favourite children’s authors and her bumper short story collections are perfect for introducing her to the latest generation of readers.

*****

I grew up on Enid Blyton. Like a lot of youngsters, I loved her work, especially Mallory Towers and the Famous Five. And I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this collection. I do own a very old copy of her festive stories but they’re more grown up. This one is perfect for reading to children at bedtime, or for an adult to while away those long winter evenings. I think her work appeals to all ages and I love her for it. And there’s 29 stories to delight you.

Sure, you could read one story a night in the countdown to Christmas, dip in and out. Or you can, like me, fully lose yourself in the festive-ness and read it straight through with a great big grin on your face.

What I love is that each story is about half a dozen pages long. They’re not complicated or too long, they’re just glorious. Very simple with characters and settings both children and adults recognise.

Yes there is definitely a hint of repetition in some of the stories, but I don’t mind that. They’re not 100% carbon copies of each other, there’s enough variation to keep them interesting. Sure, some have Santa in (unsurprisingly), some elves (again, unsurprisingly), and some with similar plots such as Santa losing his glove or children helping their elders. And yet they do still feel enough like separate stories.

I can’t seem to find if it says who the illustrator was or if it was Blyton herself, but they’re very lovely. They’re not very detailed but it gives enough for the reader to enjoy. There’s definitely something Quentin-Blake about them.

Now, these stories were originally published between 1926 and 1957, and so there is a level of old fashioned-ness about them, with outdated language and money references. However, I think she speaks to all readers of all ages and from all generations. It’s been almost 100 years since some of these were written and they haven’t lost any of their magic.

These stories really explore the side of Christmas I feel we’ve lost. Yes, I love the gift buying (and the receiving if I’m honest), and the new TV shows and the big midday lunch. But I do feel we’ve lost a bit of that old classic Christmas, where you may have got little but you were loved a lot. It was less about the what, and more about the who.

And whilst I probably won’t read it again, I will definitely be passing it on to the kids in my family to enjoy.

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