Do you like classic children’s book? I do. It makes me imagine children’s innocent times in each decades. Harry Potter, for example, is the most famous ones in the beginning of our millennium.
When I went to our local bookstore, I found famous children’s book called “The Famous Five”. This is the “Harry Potter” of the old era. The book have been reprinted more than fifteen times in Bahasa Indonesia. Amazing.
The Famous Five TV series
The Famous Five is the story of four children : three siblings ( Julian, Dick, Anne) and their cousin, George. Wait, who’s missing? Oh, yes, there is Timmy the lively dog, George’s pet and her dearest friend.
Julian, 12 years old is the oldest, the leader of the four. He’s very mature, have a good self confident, and well-behaved. The other children respect his opinion.
Dick, 11 years old, is kind, witty, friendly, and funny. Based on the story and his description, I always assume he is very handsome, because he even got a fan girl in book 9!
George, 11 years old, a very unique girl. What? A SHE? Yup. Her real name is Georgina Kirrin, but she hates the name, only responds if someone called her George. She’s a tomboy, don’t like being a girl, and wants to be treated like a boy.
On the other hand, there is Anne, 10 years old, the youngest of the four. A simple and normal girl. She’s a perfect example of any girl who want to stays feminine, caring, loyal, soft spoken but remains adventurous and brave.
I’ve read several Blyton’s adventure books, but The Famous Five remains as the best. In my opinion, it’s all because of their strong characters and……the George’s factor. George made all girls in other adventure series looks plain, represent how girls were treated in their era. Even if they were a strong-willed, brave, outspoken, they feel obliged to behave like a girl and wearing decent girls clothes. The girl character in the other series rarely steal reader’s attention, always being a shadow of the boy’s.
George is somewhat different. The first book emphasized on her rebellious life, how good she is in every boys activities, and she even owned an island! A contradictory representation of gender roles at that time. It’s quite interesting to see how people react at her cases.
The adventures and mysteries in The Famous Five happened in their holidays activities : they met smugglers, thieves, mysterious people, etc.
The kids love camping, picnic, and they always brought a lot of foods!
This is the most interesting part, because I adore Blyton’s food descriptions, such us toffees, ginger pop, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, milk, ice cream, chocolates, etc. They made me really hungry!
The Famous Five uses floating timeline. It means in 21 book, those children never grow up. You won’t see their hormones kicking in. The Famous Five is not Harry Potter. But this is also the main reason why the book is good for children. Children nowadays prefer read comics and manga to novels. Yes, you have to deal with a lot of imagination in order to love novels. But it’s worth the price. Because not every comics and manga are appropriate for young children, some of them may have implicit sexual content.
I would love to introduce The Famous Five to my kids, one day.
So, do you like classic children’s book? Which one?
Sources : wikipedia, gramedia.com. worldofblyton