The Magic Faraway Tree (Gift Edition) (Magic Faraway Tree 2) by Enid Blyton
|The Magic Faraway Tree (Gift Edition) (Magic Faraway Tree 2) by Enid Blyton|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: More of the same for this first sequel in the series – which is the problem.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 208||Date: September 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Having read several episodes in the adventures of three children and their friends who live in a huge tree that transports you to whichever different world is hovering above its branches each day, we return to find the tree the title 'character' – and the introduction of a fourth child. Rick (because the original name, Dick, would be too much – go figure) is a simple reintroduction to the goings-on of the world, and we're soon with all four as they find new worlds – a dreamscape world, one where everything (and everyone) is expected to be upside down, ones with fabulous treats, and of course ones with nightmares aplenty…
I was hopeful about this book. One of the most noted children's books ever, one much more well thought-of than even its prequel – but one that just felt as ill thought-through. Why is one child singled out to be inverted in the topsy-turvy world? How can their mother be so blasé about things and characters that she meets? How can we be so blasé about the same-old, same-old 'well, that's it, we won't have any further adventures thank you'-styled dialogue, the ridiculous way episodes (especially The Land of Do-As-You-Please (oo-er)) just dribble to a halt with no consequence whatsoever…
Dick (sorry, Rick) adds little, beyond the slightest of story arcs when it comes to his greed, and relationship with Joe. You get the same episodic structure, the same annoyingly unlovable characters, and a similar dose of [[Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Sir John Tenniel|Lewis Carroll] as before. The book is presented very well, in sturdy hardback, but I still didn't find anything to love in the new illustrations for these 'gift editions' – and they once more seem to be illustrating the completely wrong choice of elements in each tale. We never see anyone upside down, nor anything at many of the other more visual beats.
Blyton managed a third full novel-sized book of these, and a fourth, more graphic collection, but I still fail to see why they are held in such esteem. I know I was not wasting my time in turning to them, especially if the mooted big-screen version ever does turn up our way, but I found nothing improved from the patchily average first book, and no benefit in having read a second. This is yet one more case where the canon proffers worth above enjoyment.
I must still thank the publishers for my review copy.
The same publishers have also revisited classic Blyton franchises with brand new stories, as with New Term at Malory Towers by Pamela Cox (author) and Enid Blyton (creator).
You can read more book reviews or buy The Magic Faraway Tree (Gift Edition) (Magic Faraway Tree 2) by Enid Blyton at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Magic Faraway Tree (Gift Edition) (Magic Faraway Tree 2) by Enid Blyton at Amazon.com.
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