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Tales of Betsy-May by Enid Blyton
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Tales of Betsy-May (1940)

by Enid Blyton

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The sixth most popular author in the world, with close to 800 books to her name, Enid Blyton is probably the best-known children's writer of the twentieth century. Everywhere, that is, save the United States, where she is largely unknown. Curious as to why that might be, and desiring to familiarize myself with her work, I began a Blyton reading project this past November, and have so far worked my way through her fifteen-book Five Find-Outers and Dog series, as well as a few of the Noddy titles.

Tales of Betsy-May, originally published in 1940, is a collection of nineteen short stories about the eponymous Betsy-May, a little girl who tries to be good, but often falls just a little short. Self-consciously moralistic, and often quite treacly, these stories are still surprisingly enjoyable. The young reader of today may not identify with having a Nanny, nor care for the wholesome way in which Betsy-May seems always to be learning her lesson, but they will certainly empathize with the scrapes she gets into, and enter into the simple pleasures - whether of a doll's tea party or a new puppy - that make up her world.

It's interesting to note that the edition that I read was published by Dean in 2007, and seems to be somewhat edited and abridged. One story from the 1940 edition, Betsy-May Lends Her Golliwog has been rewritten as Betsy-May Lends Her Doll, no doubt in acknowledgment of the racist content of the original. Another story, Betsy-May Is Shy has been omitted altogether. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 16, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Enid Blytonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thomas, Joan GaleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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