The Famous Five Annual 2015 – a Review

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Title: The Famous Five Annual 2015

Author: Enid Blyton

Published: 2014

Age Rating: 8+

Star Rating: 5/5

I was thrilled to receive the Famous Five Annual 2015, recently, for Christmas, and on reading it: I was thoroughly impressed and entertained by it’s contents. It features such a variety of articles, puzzles and excerpts and the fantastic original, coloured illustrations were a beautiful addition to this excellent Famous Five treasury. The book does contain articles, etc, that have been published elsewhere, but to have them collected in one volume is a great thing and it is a fantastic addition to any Famous Five enthusiasts’ collection – but it is also a perfect introduction to these fantastic characters.

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I was especially intrigued and curious about articles featuring subjects I was less knowledgable on; for instance – Eileen Soper, the original illustrator of these books. The Famous Five club, which was formed in 1952, and the TV series and dramas about the Five. All were written about, in depthly, with plenty of fascinating details, and illustrated generously supplying many different illustrator’s interpretations of the Famous Five. As well as educational articles on just about every aspect of the books, the reader also gets an interesting insight into Enid’s writing techniques through Gillian Baverstock’s (Enid’s daughter) page called ‘Writing the Famous Five’. Here, she tells us how long it took for Enid to write a Famous Five book – the very long hours the author worked: not only writing her books, but proof reading, answering letters, and taking care of her own family.

All educational aspects of the annual, aside, there is plenty of fun to be had, tackling the Quiz, and the many puzzles included in this book: cross words, annagrams and plenty of extracts and stories.

The only thing I was a bit disappointed with was the Comic Strip version of ‘Five Have Plenty of Fun’ (though I did’t expect much after the Comic Strip version of ‘Five Go to Demons Rocks’ which was included in the 2014 Anual). The text, as all Comic strips are, is sketchy, and in this case, the story is highly updated and almost unrecognisable to anyone who has actually read the book. Nevertheless, it was an interesting depiction of the book. I also found the illustrations very modern and tacky.

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Despite this, this is otherwise, a very fascinating and educational book, which is quite unusual in an Annual, from what I have seen in others, and I like this factor.

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