A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Enid Blyton's The Magic Faraway Tree series is a slow, gentle series of adventures that take place in a magical tree and the lands it connects to in the clouds. Originally published in 1939, the language is lyrical and playful -- a slide is called a slippery slip -- and young readers will probably dream about how the kids are left to play in the woods for an entire day by themselves. The gender roles are pretty standard for the time but slightly out of place today.
- Parents say
- Kids say
There is a reason other English speaking parts of the globe find Enid Blyton to be the greatest storyteller ever.
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What's the story?
In THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE series, Joe, Beth, and Frannie move to a new house next to a forest where they discover a tree full of magical creatures: pixies, gnomes, talking animals, and more. The tree stretches into the clouds and connects tree climbers to an endless number of lands that are swirling above the clouds. Some of the lands are delightfully fun, but some are dangerous -- and there's always the risk that the land will spin away from the tree and the children will be stuck there forever. In the later two books, a cousin and friend join the three kids on delirious adventures, and the parents are oddly fine with the kids disappearing with strange beings -- Moonface and Saucepan Man -- for an entire day. Each book is like a series of short stories about the different lands, loosely tied together with a quest the kids need to go on.
Is it any good?
While parents may read these books to their kids out of nostalgia, young readers will find plenty to love in these imaginative stories. The Magic Faraway Tree Series is full of gentle adventures that take kids through places most have dreamed about at some point: a birthday party land, a take-anything-you-want land, a land of treats, and more. Even the "bad" lands aren't scary -- just places the kids need to get out of in time to get home, or to save a friend in trouble. The language in the series is fun and playful, and the books move at a slow-ish pace so readers have a chance to sink into the details. These are great books for getting kids to dream about fantasy lands of their own, and are just plain fun to read.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how adventurous the children are in The Magic Faraway Tree series. What would it be like to be able to roam so freely, for an entire day? Where would you go, and what would you do near your own home?
Which of the faraway tree's lands would you like to go to, and why?
What other books about magical adventures do you like to read?
- Author: Enid Blyton
- Illustrator: Jan McCafferty
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Egmont Books
- Publication date: April 11, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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