It might just be me but I feel like this post gets a little more difficult to write every year! Perhaps I just got lucky with the first year and there were plenty of good Blyton gifts then, and of course, having already used them, I cant use them again! You can still check out my gift guides for 2018, 2019 and 2020, most of the items are probably still available now!
But never mind, I have found some new things (new as in ‘came out since the last gift post’) to show you all, and who knows, you might just find a good gift amongst them.
I can always rely on Hodder, at least, to release a few short story collections every year!
This year it was Stories of Spells and Enchantments, Pet Stories and Rainy Day Stories. There is already a Blyton book called Rainy Day Stories, though it appears to be unconnected to this new book. The original is more ‘stories to read on a rainy day’, the new one looks like it contains a load of stories where it actually rains!
Also new from Hodder is Moonface’s Story, to go along with Silky’s Story from last year.
Moonface’s Story £12.99 from Waterstones
For grown-ups I can highly recommend Enid Blyton, The Untold Story by Brian Carter. (I already have this, Ewan*, in case you’ve landed here via Google, again). If you aren’t sure about spending £20 on a new biography, have a look at my review to see why I think it’s worth it.
Out just in time for Christmas is Enid Blyton – a Literary Life by Andrew Maunder. I’ve put this on my own wish list as it sounds really interesting.
This book is a study of the best-selling writer for children Enid Blyton (1897-1968) and provides a new account of her career. It draws on Blyton’s business correspondence to give a fresh account of a misunderstood figure who for forty years was one of Britain’s most successful and powerful authors. It examines Blyton’s rise to fame in the 1920s and considers the ways in which she managed her career as a storyteller, journalist and magazine editor.
Enid Blyton – a Literary Life, £17.99 at Waterstones
I’m making a couple of late additions here, having had a reminder from a friend.
Return to Kirrin by Neil and Suzie Howlett isn’t new this year, but I only discovered it this year and so it definitely deserves a place in this years’ gift guide. It’s an affectionate story about the Five as grown-ups, coming back together after a period of estrangement, and stumbling on a mystery in the process. I’ve reviewed it if anyone wants to know more.
Return to Kirrin £8.99, Amazon
One that is new this year is Zoe Billings’ The Mystery of Tully Hall. This is more tangentially related to Blyton as it is not a continuation novel, it’s a brand-new set of characters. Zoe channelled some Blyton inspiration while writing, however, and I think that Blyton fans will enjoy this one.
The Mystery of Tully Hall £6.99 on Amazon
(We have a whole lot of recommendations for books that you might like if you like Blyton, but I recommend this one specifically as it has been written and independently published by a friend and Blyton fan. Others to check out include Jemma Hatt’s Adventurers series)
Despite Noddy being a perennial favourite there is little in the way of merchandise out at the moment.
I did find four colouring books, all independently (and perhaps unofficially) published recently, three marketed at ‘adults and teens’ though they look like they’re for young children. All four appear to contain colouring pages based on Noddy Toyland Detective, though one has a cover from an earlier adaptation.
Anyway, they look nice enough books and they’re all under £6
Otherwise, there are various picture books from the past few years which tie-in with episodes of the Toyland Detective show.
Book gift sets
I stumbled upon these during my search and thought they were a great idea – and so good to see Blyton so well represented in the options.
Tea Leaves & Reads gift sets include a book or books, drinks and snacks (dietary requirements can be catered for) for both adults and children plus one or two literary bits and bobs. I like the idea that these are for a grown-up to read with a child but to be honest I’d eat and drink the lot myself! You’re never too old for Haribo. I particularly like that they give a suggested age for the books but follow it with (but come on, we still love these books!)
There’s a good choice of Blyton books (15!), though of course they are all modern (and updated) editions. Most are from the Famous Five or Faraway Tree series, but there are some others, too. Prices start from £12.99 though I’ve shown a few of the more expensive ones below.
Of course, if you had the time you could make up your own box with snacks and drinks you know your giftee will love, and a book of your choice.
For all your important dates
There are two Enid Blyton calendars out this year from The Calendar Club. Both are Famous Five themed, one slimline and the other a standard square one. I normally get a family planner calendar with spaces for each of us, but I’ve put the square one on my wish list this year. They’ve both got the same images so you won’t miss out whichever you buy.
If you’re really desperate
You can get the Famous Five for Grown Ups books personalised with your
enemy friend’s name on the front. You can generally find these in every charity shop across the UK for £1 or less, while a personalised one
On closer inspection your giftee’s name can also be hidden in the illustration on the cover and you can add a message inside, too. Not sure that justifies charging £14.99 (or £27.99 for some of them!) but there you are, if you’re desperate.
*On at least one occasion my partner has searched for ‘Enid Blyton gift ideas’ and started reading one of my gift-guides before realising what site he was on.