Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 16 June 2017
I read these books when I was a kid and they are classic Enid Blyton whimsy. It kind of doesn't touch the sides but it's fun and imaginative for young children and early readers. I am not fussed about the updates to the text - I work with children and accept that children's understanding and imagination in terms of the story could be enhanced by removing sexist assumptions and 'rude' names - making it less of a historical document and giving more access to the story.
There is no excuse however, for the replacement of the original illustrations which were designed to reflect the spirit of the story with the most basic, rough cartoons that are only just a crude representation of a figure. Whatever market research was done to come to that conclusion? What a missed opportunity. And what is worse is that the cover illustrations do not even match with the internal illustrations. Mark Beech's covers at least promise some of the humour and magic of the story - I found them acceptable enough to buy the set. But the internal illustrations are stiff and lifeless, more suited to kid's cheap airport junk reads. This kind of drawings shut down all imagination and have no longevity. It seems a terrible waste of a relaunch with so many talented illustrators in this country.