Are the Enid Blyton characters too aggressive for kids of today?

Posting on parent expert, Steve Biddulph’s Facebook page, one parent shared their concerns about the aggressive manner of characters in the Enid Blyton series.

“I’ve recently been reading a classic set of novels to my 6 year old daughter, the Enid Blyton, Enchanted Wood Collection.

These were favourites of mine as a child. However I have noticed quite clearly within these stories, many examples of how poorly the central characters react, manage and respond to one another, especially with regards to their feelings.

The central characters rarely say please or thank you to one another (I add it in myself) and when a character in the story has some difficult feelings, the other characters tell that character to stop whinging, don’t be so silly, you have horrid feelings, you’re a horrid little girl etc etc.

I stopped reading these books, but thought it may be isolated to this series, so then picked up the fantastic five series by the same author. The first sentence was the voice of one character, shaming the other about their feelings!!!

Long story short, I’m really interested in reading some novels to my daughter where the characters model compassion, respect, validation, love and acceptance. Of course, I want the stories to be interesting, engaging, exciting etc, but I don’t want the characters yelling at each other, or threatening one another with violence!”

A few of the comments were from people upset that she would even question such an author.

” I read all of these. Still have them. I don’t remember the belittling only the exciting imagination and adventure!. That’s all we want as kids.”

“I am sighing out loud at this post! Enid Blyton’s books are just lovely, imaginative, adventurous stories. Don’t over analyse, let them be and give our kids more credit for knowing what is wrong and right.”

While some did agree with the original post.

“I’ve had the same issues – the first books are not so bad, but we just finished the audio book of “The Folk of the Magic Faraway Tree” and the children are all awful to each other! But we talk about it as we go, thinking about how they might have been kinder. I’m happy to hear other book recommendations too.”

“When I read any Enid Blyton to my kids, I have to edit while I speak because there is so much sexism. I always point out to my daughter especially, that it isnt fair that the girls have to do all the cooking and often get left behind during adventures….and I explain that the world used to think that was OK but that we don’t accept that now. I’m almost to the point where I cant bear how sexist her books are.”

“Enid Blyton was banned at my primary school (30 years ago) – none of her books were held in the school library and we weren’t allowed to read them as a ‘reader’ or for book reviews!”

Do you have any concerns about reading these books to your children?

Share your comments below.

  • well don’t read them if you don’t like them because as an adult, you can make that choice lol


  • No! Enid Blyton is an awesome author. I grew up reading these books and o did my kids


  • I dont remember reading them but may have to borrow some from my library


  • I envy the freedom that the children had in Enid Blyton’s books, to go on adventures, solve mysteries and explore strange lands without a parent in sight. Today’s kids can’t leave the house unless there is a pre-arranged play date organised by parents, so it’s sad to lose that sense of adventure that children of past generations once aspired to.


  • I think we have to remember that they were written in a different time. Humans were not as progressive in their thinking our behaviour. Our children learn more from the examples they see in their home. How Dad treats Mum and vice versa.


  • I read these as a child, though I can’t remember them, and knew what was written in books wasn’t how my parents wanted me to act. I’m not sure what my age was though.


  • I enjoyed these books as a child and some were firm favourites. I picked up on the other themes in these books and stories and have some fond memories of them. Manners were taught by the family and reading a variety of books with all sorts of characters is a way to get to know different characters, places, plots and ways of living.

    • I do not remember any harmful effects from reading these books and I did not develop any negative attitudes. I did develop a wonderful and creative imagination.


  • I don’t care if they are fantasy books or not. At least “please” and thank you” should be used. I do think that some issues are over-rated though. Young children would not realise the attitude as being sexist. I don’t know of any toddlers either at home or childcare where gender roles are actually taught.
    How many little boys want to learn to do cooking, sewing etc. They are more interested in making things or playing with cars, trucks, planes, trains etc. They have motors and kids make motor noises. How many girls are interested in them at that age, unless they have parents who are really genuinely interested in the genuine item and encourage the kids.


  • People have to remember these are old books times were different then
    When these books were written life was different
    I revisited blinky bill a few years ago & in the first chapter the father was killed in great detail
    I will save this book for when hes older
    Mind you blinky bill was given to me when i was 5


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