Famous Five tops poll

From The Guardian:

Blyto Enid Blyton, who was called “the 20th century Mother Goose”, still reigns supreme this century. Yesterday adults voted her Famous Five series as their favourite books for children. The series – which started 63 years ago – beat friendly lions, hobbits, wizards and big friendly giants. It narrowly pipped Chronicles of Narnia to win first place despite the boost given to CS Lewis’s stories by the current film.

The Famous Five are a group of clean-living, well brought-up middle class children who take pride in being “jolly good sports”. Their adventures, fuelled by their inexhaustible addiction to ginger beer, lemonade and sandwiches (“Oh goody, cucumber,” said George), were dismissed as hopelessly outdated and irrelevant by librarians and others in the 1970s.

It introduced the siblings Julian, Dick and Anne and their dog, Timmy. The fifth adventurer is their cousin Georgina, a tomboy who is called George in the stories. Blyton was once accused of racism, sexism and even homo-eroticism. Her 700 books came 15th among library borrowers in recent public lending right figures and still sell 8m copies worldwide. She also wrote 7,000 shorter stories.

More here.