I was spellbound by these stories as a girl, and they have gone on to enchant my children. Who better to renew the magic for a fresh generation?

I am a veteran reader of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree books. I read them first growing up, and revelled in the thought of the different magical lands that could be reached at the top of an enormous tree – the Land of Take-What-You-Want! the Land of Goodies! Imagine being able to ask for an ice cream of any flavour, and going for sardine, as Connie did. Or flying on a dandelion seed in the Land of Giants. I dreamed of using a Slippery-Slip – the huge slide which goes down the centre of the tree. I imagined biting into a Hot Cold Goodie, or sucking a toffee shock. I wanted to creep past the Angry Pixie, watch Dame Washalot empty her buckets of water over Mr Watzisname (how much washing did she really need to do?), and make friends with Silky and Moonface.

Then I read the books to my eldest child – and found myself not as charmed as I’d hoped. The Saucepan Man in particular was a little creepy and as ever with Blyton, there’s editorialising to be done while reading out loud, if you don’t want the girls to be told to stand aside for the boys.

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