For this post, Holly is going to review two books that she read recently by Enid Blyton:
The Ship of Adventure…
Image courtesy of enidblytonsociety.co.uk
and The Sea of Adventure
Image courtesy as above
What they are about:
Enid Blyton wrote eight fantastic adventure stories that were perhaps overshadowed by her better-known Famous Five series. These all have similar titles – the only difference being what the ‘something’ of adventure was! Jack and his sister Lucy Ann are orphans but spend all their holidays with brother and sister Philip and Dinah and their mother. Jack brings along a rather hilarious parrot of his called Kiki, who is even more of a character in these books than Timmy in the Famous Five, helped no doubt by her ability to talk and order people to ‘Shut the door’ and ‘Wipe your feet’. Whenever the children break up for their school holidays, they fall head-long into a perilous adventure and then the fun starts.
The Ship of Adventure: The four children embark on an exciting trip around the Mediterranean with Philip and Dinah’s mum, Mrs Mannering. Bill Cunningham has not been invited this time because of his tendency to get the children involved in an adventure, but the four manage to do this perfectly well on their own! As the boat tours the Greek islands Jack received a ship in a bottle but is devastated when it is quickly broken. However, sadness turns to excitement as the children discover an ancient map hidden inside. As they explore the possibilities, they become suspicious of a man on board the same ship, whose annoying nephew always seems to be hanging around for information. Soon they realise that his uncle is a very dangerous criminal, but can they find the treasure and escape from the villains in time?
The Sea of Adventure: This story starts with the four children recovering from a particularly nasty bout of measles. The doctor has ordered convalescence by the sea before returning to school and family friend (and spy) Bill Cunningham comes to the rescue. He takes the four away on a bird-spotting holiday, camping on little islands that are as remote as possible from the mainland. However, one day Bill disappears and the children are stranded. What has happened to him… and how will they get home?
Holly’s review: I have just finished reading these two books. As you may have noticed, they are both set at sea. They are both really adventurous. But I liked one book better than the other and that book is The Sea of Adventure because it’s really descriptive and more daring which is what I like. If these books sound like the sort of stuff you like, then go to your local library or bookshop and see if you can find them.
Sam’s review: I have a confession to make with these books. I remember loving them when I was young and for a while have vaguely dangled them in front of Holly in bookshops or libraries, suggesting that she might like to try them. She has resisted me quite fiercely until recently when she decided she would deign to read the blurb on the back. She started with The Mountain of Adventure (review to come soon) and hasn’t stopped since. She can get through these in two days, which is great but frustrating as I’d love to read them more with her and relive some of my memories! Yes, these do contain some of Blyton’s less praiseworthy opinions about people but if you can skip past those, the adventures are fantastic and the characters engaging, especially Kiki the parrot, who always makes us laugh. I think there is more peril in them perhaps than in the Famous Five – the children inevitably are left to fend for themselves at some point – but it’s never distressing or terrifying. At one point in The Sea of Adventure Holly groaned at the prospect of them embarking on another adventure as she was rather enjoying the description of their holiday but she still devoured it and, yesterday, reserved The Circus of Adventure in the library. Another series we’re working our way through!
Have you read this series? What did you think of it?