Monday, August 17, 2020

The six-year-old critic and "The Famous Five"

When my son Miles was about six, we read the entire original series of Enid Blyton's "The Famous Five" out loud to him – and then reread many of the books because he loved them so much. Yet he was also already a critic: he remarked frequently on the books' formulaic quality, especially on how many of them involved going underground. And when he wanted to reread any book, he would ask to skip to the ninth or tenth chapter. When I asked him why, he said that the setup of the stories was always the same, with the kids somehow needing to be separated from their parents and other responsible adults. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 August)

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