what age for Famous Five?

(18 Posts)
notcitrus Sat 16-Mar-13 09:26:24

I started reading FF at 4 or 5 when I realised they were written by the person who wrote Noddy, and worked my way through most of Blyton over the next couple years.
Recently re-reading I found Secret Seven horrendously sexist and got rid of them (ds currently into rules and what people should do, so overtly stating girls should help make tea for boys not a good idea - the subtext I doubt he'd notice any more than I did), but the other stories not too bad - yes there's threats of violence and men with guns, but given all of ds's preschool are obsessed with goodies versus baddies and shooting and webbing baddies (being Spiderman, Batman, Darth Vader etc), the crime element is OK with me, seeing as the police always catch the baddies in the end and the good end happily.

Might be tough to read out loud, but who knows what one child will like - ds liked about 3 chapters of Winnie the Pooh but otherwise likes short stories and reference books about animals, so I've read an endangered species a day for ages...

notcitrus Sat 16-Mar-13 09:26:11

I started reading FF at 4 or 5 when I realised they were written by the person who wrote Noddy, and worked my way through most of Blyton over the next couple years.
Recently re-reading I found Secret Seven horrendously sexist and got rid of them (ds currently into rules and what people should do, so overtly stating girls should help make tea for boys not a good idea - the subtext I doubt he'd notice any more than I did), but the other stories not too bad - yes there's threats of violence and men with guns, but given all of ds's preschool are obsessed with goodies versus baddies and shooting and webbing baddies (being Spiderman, Batman, Darth Vader etc), the crime element is OK with me, seeing as the police always catch the baddies in the end and the good end happily.

Might be tough to read out loud, but who knows what one child will like - ds liked about 3 chapters of Winnie the Pooh but otherwise likes short stories and reference books about animals, so I've read an endangered species a day for ages...

StellaNova Sat 16-Mar-13 08:54:29

I read Famous Five when I was four - I remember because there was a four year old in one book who spoke in baby talk and I was cross and wanted to write to Enid Blyton to complain. But I loved the books and read them over and over until I was 10 or 11.

But I just read a few to my 5 year old recently and was quite shocked at the violence - there was a boy being beaten up by his uncle who kept appearing with a poor swollen face etc, as another poster says there are a lot of threatening villains. DS liked the holidays, secret passages and food but he didn't like the crime element.

Enthuse Sat 16-Mar-13 08:42:44

Early five. Loved them. Didn't know SS easier. Had avoided them as feared I would get exhausted by such a multitude of characters. This year (5) Mary poppins also hit. But biggest hit of all has been little house on the prairie which is amazing. Four young for that though. There are also famous five audio plays and the children live those.

DeWe Thu 27-Jan-11 14:16:08

dd#1 I read FF to when she was 4. She loved them and was reading them to herself as soon as she could. dd#2 wouldn't touch FF at first because she'd seen the DVD and decided it was "scary" even though her understanding/reading level was higher. (I eventually read a coupleof chapters and she was hooked and read most of the series over a week)

FreudianSlippery Wed 26-Jan-11 10:14:16

Start with secret seven. If he's understood Roald Dahl it should be no problem.

IMO all that ooh it's so sexist stuff is bollocks. I was utterly obsessed with Blyton books for years and it hasn't turned me into a bigot! Because I've got parents who don't judge people.

chocolatemarshmallow Mon 24-Jan-11 15:52:48

The wishing chair is a lovely idea - I think the reason Secret 7 is being suggested is becuase it's a bit younger/simpler with shorter stories than FF so may be a lovely way to introduce to it - my kids all loved enid blyton from very young age and I don't think there's anything you need to 'worry' about in there so why not just give it a go and see whether or not there's a response?

falsemessageoflethargy Mon 17-Jan-11 20:02:15

Oh you mean actual guns dont you - not just men with lovelybig arms...sorry - my attention was piqued for a minute <slinks off>

madamehooch Mon 17-Jan-11 17:39:15

Lots of men with guns in the Famous Five. Also, Timmy's life is touch and go in a few books. Kidnappings aplenty. Maybe suitable in a couple of years as usually classifed as content suitable for older children? So much other good stuff around for a 4.11 year old.

DastardlyandSmugly Mon 17-Jan-11 13:35:31

DS is 4.11 and we've read all the Roald Dahl's (The Witches is the scariest but he was OK with it), the Farway Tree books, Roddy Doyle's children's books and lots of Secret Sevens. We haven't tried FF yet but will be doing soon. He loves the SS - says they are his favourite books.

bumpybecky Mon 17-Jan-11 13:28:14

dd3 has been having the Famous Five read to her for a year now, started when she was 4.10. She absolutely loves them

she does now insist on calling me mother, her Dad father and we hear lots of 'golly', 'wizard', 'crikey' (sp?) etc. She also like the idea of sardine sandwiches for supper grin

Butkin Mon 17-Jan-11 13:25:49

DD (7) is loving the Secret Seven, at the moment, which are all miniature detective novels. I read them to her about 18 months ago and now she is reading them to herself. We're reading the modern versions and I intend to complete her collection (she only has half a dozen) for her 8th birthday next month. Some are a little scary (remember Mr Tizer!) but she thinks they are great.

I think Famous Five is the next step up.

DilysPrice Mon 17-Jan-11 07:39:06

Secret seven is much more popular nowadays for some reason (probably a good one). I remember DD enjoying then at roughly his age, so they're worth a try, and if you don't get on with them then you can try again in a year or so.
DS enjoyed Captain Underpants at 5ish (if you can tolerate poo, fart, bogey-related humour).

deaconblue Mon 17-Jan-11 07:12:58

yes done mr fox, the giraffe the pelly and me, enormous crocodile, have got James and The Giant PEach but am waiting a bit as I remember the aunts being very scary. Is secret Seven a bit simpler then? Have jsut ordered the Wishing Chair

falsemessageoflethargy Sun 16-Jan-11 16:35:25

Yes 7 - and theres lots of language they can read but not understand iyswim. Oh I see you're reading to him - I dont think they are that great for reading aloud as well.

Danny is a bit old for 4.5 as well I think - have you done the younger Roald Dahls?

ValiumSilverTongue Sun 16-Jan-11 16:33:39

7 ish I agree, BUT make sure it's a newly published copy, because some of the 30 year old ones I pulled off the shelf at parents house are so racist and sexist it would take your breath away.

cazzybabs Sun 16-Jan-11 16:31:13

i think aboit 7 ... what aboit secret seven

deaconblue Sun 16-Jan-11 14:07:33

Ds is 4 1/2 and we've read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny the Champion of the World and all the Faraway Tree books (also Flat Stanley etc). I think he would love the Famous Five adventures but can't remember how old I was when I read them. Would be for me to read to him, not him to read yet.

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