Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Famous Five

The Famous Five is tops in the U.K.

A YouGov poll of 2,688 adults determined the Famous Five series with its "middle class children who take pride in being 'jolly good sports'" was the favorite children's book or series of British readers. The top ten? Results are as follows:

1 Famous Five
2 Chronicles of Narnia
3 The Faraway Tree
4 The Hobbit
5 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6 Black Beauty
7 Treasure Island
8 Biggles
9 Swallows and Amazons
10 Lord of the Rings

The poll was "commissioned to launch a drive by the National Literacy Trust, sponsored by Starbucks, to get 50,000 books for schools donated to Starbucks stores this Christmas."

John Ezard, writing for the Guardian, notes the adventures of the Famous Five were "fuelled by their inexhaustible addiction to ginger beer, lemonade and sandwiches." And I have to say that, as a child reader, I really appreciated Enid Blyton's loving attention to food. Every feast, every picnic is breathlessly detailed. Stolen chicken, stashed bottles of ginger ale, candies--all are given their due.

(Arthur Ransome also paid appropriate attention to food in his Swallows and Amazons series.)