London: A British publisher is all set to bring Enid Blyton’s most famous characters into the modern society for 21st century kids with new illustrations and contemporary phrases.
Having modernised the Famous Five ahead of the quintet’s 70th birthday this year, publisher Hachette UK has bought the rights to Enid Blyton’s entire estate, excluding Noddy.
Marlene Johnson, the managing director of Hachette’s children’s books division, asserted that following the deal they had “great plans for the future”.
These comprise new illustrations and updated language, as well as making many more Blyton works available for digital download.
In all, it will “catapult Enid Blyton into contemporary society,” she said.
Hachette, which for some time has published the Famous Five under licence from Chorion, had already called in illustrators including Quentin Blake to “reinterpret” the heroic child adventurers.
There was controversy when the language of the Five was updated last year, but more of Blyton’s work, including the Secret Seven and The Naughtiest Girl novels, are now set to ditch their lashings of pop and jolly hockey sticks, the Independent reported.
“We will look at all of the works,” Johnson said.
“We modernised the Famous Five last year, amid much murmuring. But these days you don’t talk of jolly japes to kids,” Johnson added.
Despite an outcry, the company thinks that a revamp could boost sales of the books – in which the stories are unchanged – attracting kids who may have been put off by language they could not relate to.