Enid Blyton book to get modern makeover with lesson about sexism

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The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton’s beloved children’s adventure, is to get a modern makeover with a lesson about sexism.

Jacqueline Wilson is writing a new version of the story, updated for the 21st century, in which three siblings named Milo, Mia and Birdy discover the enchanted wood.

It will keep the original, magical inhabitants of the Faraway Tree, including Moon-Face, Silky the Fairy and the Saucepan Man.

But when Moon-Face expresses a Blyton-esque sentiment about girls being required to help with domestic tasks, while boys do something more exciting, he is immediately educated on the subject of gender equality.

Alexander Antscherl, editorial director at Enid Blyton Entertainment, said: “The book has got some nods to gender equality between girls and boys, which you didn’t always see in the original books.

“Mia, the older girl, says that in the modern world girls are just as clever as boys, and sometimes cleverer.

“In the story, there is a reference to Moonface asking Silky the fairy to help around the home. Mia tells him that he has sexist expectations of Silky, and explains why he should not say that.”

That is not the only change. When Blyton wrote The Enchanted Wood (1939), The Magic Faraway Tree (1943) and The Folk of the Faraway Tree (1946), she allowed her young characters to roam free.

 As in the Famous Five and Secret Seven series, the children spent whole days, and even some nights, alone on their adventures.

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