I have already written a guide to Enid Blyton biographies, books which have covered various aspects of her life and career, so what’s left are some non-fiction books that don’t really fit the biography category.
So You Think You Know Enid Blyton’s Famous Five?
by Clive Gifford
This is actually a quiz book rather than a standard reference-type book. It contains over 1,000 questions (according to the introduction, I didn’t count them), mostly about the Famous Five, but with a few about Blyton thrown in too, and even the odd one about Noddy and other Blyton creations. Personally I would have preferred just 900 Famous Five questions, rather than having it padded out to 1,000, but a bit of variety can’t be too bad.
You also have to watch as they go by the updated text as I have spotted a question about Uncle Quentin giving the children money, and whether it was 25p, 50p or £1.
The questions are divided into three sections easy, medium and tough, with there being 50 easy, 50 tough and the rest being medium. I’m sure you’ll be glad to know as well that all the answers are at the back.
I wrote a fuller review here, which I had entirely forgotten when I wrote this, if I had remembered I could have saved myself some time!
The Famous Five Everything You Ever Wanted to Know!
by Norman Wright
There is a chapter in this about Blyton herself, but it more or less just summarises the usual biographical information. The rest of the book is all about the Famous Five (not surprisingly).
There are guides to the characters, from the Five to their families, their friends to enemies and even the various animals they encounter. Places, both real and fictional, including a section all about Kirrin locations.
There is also a summary of each of the 21 books, and over 150 quiz questions (and answers) at the end.
Who’s Who in Enid Blyton
by Eva Rice
I have written three very long posts (one, two and three), and then a fourth about the updated version, about this book. To summarise, this is a guide to characters from several of Blyton’s main series. Unfortunately is is patchy and inconsistent, with some books getting almost every character (no matter how minor) listed, and other books getting the bare minimum. There are also glaring omissions and various mistakes throughout.
Dissecting the Magic of Blyton’s Famous Five Books
by Liam Martin
I have also written about this one, but just one post! This is a useful book which has categorised all sorts of details about the Famous Five books, such as locations, the weather, food stuffs, animals and nature, and so on. It lists each item and where the reference(s) can be found in the books.
Enid Blyton Society Publications
Many of the society publications are more booklets than books, but are still very much worth the money.
There are rather a lot so I will just provide a few highlights here, and leave a link so you can see the rest.
The ones I have are the illustrated bibliographies, which come in four volumes and cover every Blyton book published from 1922-1974. They provide all the main publishing details, publisher, date, plus the format of the book and dustjacket etc. It also gives some details on reprints.
There are also indexes to Enid Blyton’s Magazine (unfortunately sold out, and I wish I’d managed to get one), Sunny Stories and Sunny Stories for Little Folk.
And lastly The Famous Five — a guide to the characters by David Rudd surely promises to be better than Eva Rice’s attempt.
A full list of ‘further reading’ on Blyton can be found on the Society Website here, including all the Society booklets and some booklets and pamphlets from other sources that I haven’t mentioned.
The Enid Blyton Society Shop has some of their publications available, though others have sold out. It may be possible to find them second hand, however.
What I like best about Norman Wright’s book “The Famous Five Everything You Ever Wanted to Know!” is the map of Kirrin Bay and surroundings. It’s exactly as I imagined.
“map of Kirrin Bay and surroundings” – I’d like to see that!
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