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Noddy and His Car by Enid Blyton

2016, first published 1949

Enid Blyton remains a puzzle. Her books for all age groups continue to sell and yet she is questioned  by many educationalists.  In the 1950s she was criticised for her poor writing and more recently her lack of political correctness has become an issue.  So, she is popular but her works can hardly be described as classics. 

The Noddy books have indeed been sanitised. The wicked gollywogs have been replaced by trolls. We still have the problem of Big-Ears who has acquired his name because of a faulty body part yet he remains a good mentor to Noddy. 

Alas, the females are fluffy and shown as dependent on males. The males are authoritative and over-bearing.  Perhaps, though, this is just reminiscent of the time in which Blyton worked and lived.
Yet the story still appeals. It is a satisfying well-structure story with an upbeat ending and the illustrations tell more of the story, illustrate and amuse. 

It's a bit of a puzzle. It is word-rich and employs a serif font with difficult 'a's and 'g's, implying that the adult might read to the child. However, the use of ragged right and the nature of the pictures suggest that this book might also be suitable for emergent readers.                        


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …