Break Out the Ginger Beer
It's pleasant to note that a crass attempt by the publishers of Enid Blyton's work to anonymise her for the juniors of the Dan Brown generation has ended in a well-deserved flop. Blyton's books have been perceived as racist and sexist for some time, but it is just possible that children who read them may also read other material which displays a more enlightened attitude, much as readers of the Jew-baiting toady William Shakespeare occasionally find it within themselves to drag their ideas out of the sixteenth century. Equally, the presence of outmoded customs, attitudes and language in a story may sometimes lead the youthful reader to ask questions, consult a dictionary and perhaps even think a bit. Nevertheless, however hideous it may be for children to discover that people did not always think or speak the way they do now, apparently that discovery is less traumatic than seeing their favourite stories undergo a personality amputation.