Monday, March 31, 2008

Enid Blyton anyone?

Check out Hsien's post about books she read as a child. I recognise none of them, save for Shel Silverstein's books, and that's only cos Brian and Sean love his books.

Is it just me or have the rest of you also not heard of these books?

Little Critter Stories by Mercer Mayer
The Great Brain series by John Dennis Fitzerald
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
The Littles series by John Peterson
Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler

Maybe it's me. I had not even heard of Roald Dahl till I went to university in Singapore! I hail from Malacca, a small town in Malaysia, and all through my growing-up years, we had a grand total of 2 English bookshops. Small sole-proprietor bookshops, not places like Kinokuniya or Borders. I think the shops' names were Lim Brothers and Tai Kwang, I can't believe I still remember their names! Ahhh, memories :)

I would hang out at the two bookshops (which were located next to each other near the town centre) as long as I could stand the glare of the owners, reading half a book today, half a book another day. Couldn't afford the RM4 each Enid Blyton book cost then (remember the Ringgit was almost equal in value to the Singapore Dollar then, yes, it was that long ago).

I couldn't get enough of Enid Blyton's books; starting with stories about pixies, fairies, gnomes and flying cottages, then moving on to children mystery-solvers Famous Five, Secret Seven, Five Find-outers, and then boarding school stories St Clare’s and Mallory Towers. Midnight feasts, funny and fierce Mam'zelles, all vintage Enid Blyton topics.

I also loved Louisa M Alcott's Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys...and of course, fairy-tales from Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian.

Both Brian and Sean aren't into fairy-tales at all. I bought some fairy-tale books which I would have LOVED as a child (with gorgeous illustrations) but the boys won't bite. Brian has read many of the Enid Blyton books; Sean's not too interested. Sean's starting to like Roald Dahl but mostly he just reads lots of non-fiction (oh, he loves Calvin & Hobbes and Tintin too).

What did you read as a child?


Baoying said...

Hi my dear,

I'm doing well and have been reading your blog religiously but haven't been in 'social' mode (ie Facebook or any of the chats). I was totally into Enid Blyton! I grew up in a Mandarin speaking family and I used to be also addicted to the Doreimon comic books when I was young. Couldn't read Chinese to save my life but was always captivated by the gadgets he pulled out of his pouch!

Lilian said...

Hi sexy lady! Good to hear from you :) Yeah, I haven't been 'social' either, kind of abandoned FB for some time now.

I like the Doraemon TV song, catchy. I bought a 10-VCD Doraemon series for the boys some time ago, will dig them out again one of these days. They have Doraemon in Malay you know.

Alcovelet said...

Hi Lilian, these are fond memories, sigh. All Enid Blyton, Rudyard Kipling, The Red, Blue, Yellow (can't remember what other colours!) Storybooks from Andrew Lang, Grimm Brothers, and then ... Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie, Baroness Orczy (Scarlet Pimpernel)... I was a big borrower at the now defunct National Library for those. Man, were they wonderful! Brian would love some of these, judging by his writing!!

Perhaps it's not a boy thing? RK isn't into the fairy tales either. RK's started picking up the Five Find Outers recently, but that's in between Childcraft books these days (junior worldbook type stuff). But Roald Dahl appeals because of the wicked humour.

I think I read Roald Dahl late too, but, oh, that naughty Uncle Oswald ...

Hsien Lei said...

I remember loving both Doraemon comic books and Lao Fu Zi (now available in English). This was before I lost my ability to read Chinese so well a couple of years after we moved to the U.S.

Lilian said...

Omigod! I loved Lau Fu Zi, can't believe you read that too! hahah...I usually read the ones with no word, cos I can't read Chinese. Hysterically funny!

I'm gonna check out that link now. Thanks.

Alcovelet said...

Ooh, Lau fuzi, I forgot!! Love love! And Xiao Ding Dang! Think I spotted this whole pack at Popular bookstore the other day. You guys want it shipped??

Lilian said...

Thanks for the offer Adeline, but I'll check those out when I'm next back in Singapore. Shipping cost for books is a killer methinks.

bACk in GERMANY said...

Lao Fu Zi - my incentive at the hairdresser's whenever I had to accompany my mom or aunts for their grooming sessions!

Alcovelet: So you're the reason why I couldn't find those books at NLB. I remember the times I had to share with friends to get books from 2nd hand bookstores on those hot titiles!

Hee.. confession: I also like the trashy ones from Victoria Holt among other titles! ;)

Lilian said...

:) I remember reading Lao Fu Zi when I accompanied my mum to the hair salon too! Those comics barely made the visits bearable. I just hated going to the salons, bored me to tears.

Alcovelet said...

Victoria Holt! Now that's something! Now I know why Lao fuzi conjures up the scent of perming lotion and "setting" hair :-). Abt second hand bookstores - we still go! A lot of RK's Geronimo Stilton bks come from there so I don't have to trash them later. Not cheap though.


I loved Enid Blyton when I was young... :)

Lilian said...

Hi Xtralicious, good to see you here! I've visited your nonblogspot blog many times, I left that comment about the bedangdangs some time ago ;)