The Island of Adventure

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This book is a real show-stopper. 
Show-stopper: noun, 1. show-stopper - an act so striking or impressive that the show must be delayed until the audience quiets down.
Classic cover of The Island of Adventure by Stuart Tresilian
No, no, no. Strike that.

I think it is quite the opposite, in fact.

A true show-starter.

Try reading Enid Blyton's The Island of Adventure and you will see that the show will begin.

End a chapter and screams, shouts and pleas ensue.

Read One More Chapter!! 

My young audience simply goes crazy when we read Blyton's Adventure series.
Again, a wrong choice of words.

They don't go crazy.

They go wild.

God save the Blytons

      She was not quite what you would call refined. 
      She was not quite what you would call unrefined. 
      She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
      Mark Twain

Kiki's first encounter with Phillip
Philip is taunted by Kiki, during their very first meeting
Enid Blyton's 'Adventure series' is a collection of seven books featuring four tight friends (Jack and his sister Lucy-Ann, Philip and his sister Dinah) and a parrot named Kiki.

Jack and his sister Lucy-Ann are orphans and they had to live with their uncle until they were adopted by Philip and Dinah's mother Mrs. Mannering.

Jack (a.k.a. as Freckles), the older sibling, has a special passion for birds (Kiki is his pet). He is a true hero in the eyes of his younger sister Lucy-Ann. The two redhead orphans have an incredibly strong bond and they never fight.

Philip (a.k.a. as Tufty) and his sister Dinah are full of love for each other - yet they fight like cat and dog. While Philip is like a children version of an "Dog (animal) Whisperer" and exerts a special magnetic power over all animals that he meets, Dinah hates all the minute creatures (mice, lizards, rabbits, etc..) that find a temporary home in Philips pockets and under his shirt.
Kiki takes center stage in another Adventures series book

In each of the seven Adventure books, the two brother/sister pairs fall into a new adventure, from which they usually have to extricate themselves with little or almost no help from grown-ups.

All these going-ons are peppered by Kiki's humorous utterings and mindless screeches. 

The first in the series is The Island of Adventure, in which the kids get to know each other and they start an unexpected joint holiday in a derelict old mansion by the sea, Craggy-Tops.

You don't have to take my word at face value, the Adventure series is held in high regard by many other bloggers, parents and ... most importantly ... children.


      There are no countries in the world less known          
      by the British than those selfsame British Islands. 
      George Borrow

The cliff-top home Craggy-Tops in Cornwall is owned by the uncle and aunt of the Mannering siblings (Philip and Dinah).

Jack is transfixed with the uninhabited Island of Gloom, especially with the prospects of finding an example of the Great Auk, an extinct wild bird species that could still be nesting in the isolation of the isle.

Alas, the island is completely surrounded by dangerous rocks making it inaccessible to the children.

One of the most exciting characters in The Island of Adventure is the servant at Craggy-Tops, a strange fellow named Jo-Jo.

Jo-Jo, a sinister character who is up to no good, was a black servant in the original version written by Enid Blyton (this was later changed to Joe the white servant in newer editions, in order to make the book more politically correct!).

Jo-Jo keeps scaring the for children with his tales of strange "things" roaming around the cliffs at nighttime and he warns the children not to set a foot on the Isle of Gloom because it is a cursed island. 

However, one night, Phillip and Jack - from their tower room bedroom - see lights flashing off the abandoned Isle of Gloom and this sets the stage for the adventure that follows.

All 7 books of the Adventure Series
All 8 books of the Adventure Series
1. The Island of Adventure
2. The Castle of Adventure
3. The Valley of Adventure
4. The Sea of Adventure
5. The Mountain of Adventure
6. The Ship of Adventure
7. The Circus of Adventure
8. The River of Adventure
During their walks along the coast, the children bump into a strange amateur "birdwatcher" named Bill Smugs, who decides to let them use his boat. Well, you can guess where the kids are headed!

The following adventure is peppered with twists and turns and strange goings-on.. a secret mine-shaft will be discovered, the children will go down a well, they will discover a secret tunnel under the sea, abandoned copper mines and smugglers.... You name it, its there!

Bucket-loads of adventure and excitement!

Words of warning: I had to skip a couple of references to a gun and I had to tone down a couple of scenes towards the end of the book that would have been a bit too frightening to 5-year olds. 

But, every parents can easily do this. If the book is too exciting for your child, leave it for an older age. 

(My baby boy and baby girl are five and a half years old now - or ten combined - as they like to say). 

I feel that this book would best be enjoyed by children of 6+, of course this also depends on the individual child.
Modern day cover of The Island of Adventure
Modern day cover of The Island Of Adventure

Kiki the parrot is in every book of Blyton's adventure series and she brings comic relief to sometimes tense scenes in the books, by often mixing up her sayings or by frightening the bad guys out of the blue. 

Her most famous lines include: "Where is your handkerchief?" "Pop goes the weasel" "Wipe your feet" "Shut the door" and "God save the Queen", always said at the wrong moment. 

Her repertoire also includes extra loud screeches and imitations of a police whistle and a fast steam train.

The Island of Adventure is a marvelous introduction to one of Enid Blyton's lesser known series.

At the very end of this review, let me quote another reviewer of this series:

"Although the Adventure series isn’t the most well-known of Enid Blyton’s series for children, it is well-written with plenty of imagination – some of the settings include exotic locations abroad. However, it is the great characters that really make it enjoyable. Those who aren’t familiar with the books are recommended to start reading them, regardless of age."

Admission: Enid Blyton's Adventure Series is THE book series that got Read Aloud Dad all excited about reading - when I was 6 or 7 year old boy.

The Island of Adventure is available from bookstores in the US, Canada, UK and Germany:

  • Author: Enid Blyton 
  • Illustrator: Stuart Tresilian 
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN-13: 9780330446297
  • Source: Purchased by Read Aloud Dad

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  1. Sounds like an old fashioned wonderful adventure book series!! Glad to learn about it!

  2. Thanks PragmaticMom,

    You are such a support. You know, you forgot to include your friendly and supportive comments on Read Aloud Dad, as a 49th act of kindness.

    What a wonderful post of yours, truly inspirational:

    Have a great day!

    Read Aloud Dad

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  3. These were my all time favorite books as a child.

  4. I just have to comment and say how happy I am that you are posting on your blog again! I have found so many wonderful books for my children from your recommendations. Thank you!

  5. Thanks a million for taking the time to let me know and for reading my posts Amy Jo :-)

    I really appreciate your kind words and I am thrilled to know that you have enjoyed some of the books together with your kids!

    What a great world this is, where we can talk about our joint love of children's books and share tips, although we may be hundreds or thousands of miles away.

    Oh, please let us know of some of your own book recommendations, too! I love to learn about great books too!

    Read Aloud Dad

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