Monday 4 February 2013

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton, Illustrations by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

Book of the week The Enchanted wood by Enid Blyton
The timeless classic that introduces Moon-Face, Silky the Fairy, the Saucepan Man and the magical world of the Faraway Tree. Originally published in 1939 this is a later edition with illustrations by

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

"I feel as if there are adventures about," said Jo. "Come on! Over the ditch we go - and into the Enchanted Wood!" One by one the children jumped over the narrow ditch. They stood beneath the trees and peered about. Small freckles of sunshine lay here and there on the ground, but not very many, for the trees were so thick. 

"What's happening over there?" said Fanny. All three watched in silence. And then they saw what it was. Six big toadstools were growing quickly up from the ground, pushing their way through, and rising up steadily! "I've never seen that happen before!" said Jo, in astonishment. "Sh!" said Bessie. "Don't make a noise. I can hear footsteps." The others listened. Sure enough they heard the sound of pattering feet and little high voices. "Let's get quickly behind a bush," said Bessie suddenly.
 "There's magic happening here, and we want to see it!"

I have to agree with Bessie - this is a magical story with enchanting illustrations.
These are a few of my favourites
They climbed up again, and soon had another surprise. They came to a broad branch that led to a yellow door set neatly in the big trunk of the Faraway Tree. It had a little knocker and a brightly polished bell. "I wonder who lives there?" said Fanny.

Mother and the children stared at the queer Old Saucepan Man as he came in at the gate. He wore an extra-large-sized saucepan for a hat, and, as he came, he knocked two pans together, and sang a queer nonsense song that went like this;

Two beans for a pudding,
Two cherries for a pie,
Two legs for a table,
with a hi-tiddle-hi!

Jo waited. Then they all three slipped down the creaky stairs and out into the moonlit garden. The shadows were very black indeed, just like ink. There was no colour anywhere, only just the pale, cold moonlight. They were soon in the Enchanted Wood. But, dear me, it was quite, quite different now! It was simply alive with people and animals! In the very dark parts of the wood little lanterns were hung in rows.

Enid Blyton's The enchanted wood deluxe edition illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

I'm a big fan of Janet and Anne and judging from comments left on previous posts I'm not alone! Please feel free to leave a comment - and pop back to read the replies.

Previous Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone post here

This book is now sold, thank you for your interest.


  1. Catherine Hawley4 February 2013 at 11:01

    My favourite book in the universe when I was 8. Daughter has loved them too. Blyton has a lot of faults but you can't beat her tales for hooking kids into the addiction of reading.

  2. barbaraannefisher4 February 2013 at 11:37

    Hello Catherine, I was late discovering this (much too busy with The Famous Five), but I have to say it’s one of my favourites now. Thanks for calling in.

  3. LOOOVE! The Johnstones are amazing.

  4. barbaraannefisher4 February 2013 at 16:05

    Hi, Leanne, I couldn't agree more! Thanks for calling in.

  5. Magic everywhere? I must read this book! It has been on my list for about two years. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the colors. Thanks for reminding me to move this one up my list. :)

  6. These illustrations are magnificent. I absolutely love the excerpts from this story! Thank you so much for sharing these : ) ~ magical ~ Jess

  7. Can't help smiling ... the wonderful pictures brought back so much precious memories. My sisters and I loved reading this series. Trees that whisper and folks living there, and the everchanging lands above. The Saucepan Man was a delight. (So funny when he couldn't hear well from all the clanging of his pans!) Everyone who hasn't read The Enchanted Woods, read it this year!

  8. barbaraannefisher5 February 2013 at 15:55

    Hello Stephanie, I’m sure you will enjoy it. Thanks for calling in.

  9. barbaraannefisher5 February 2013 at 15:57

    Thanks Jess, it is a magical story, and the illustrations just add to it. Thanks for your comment.

  10. barbaraannefisher5 February 2013 at 16:03

    Hi Claudine, I love the fact that this brought back happy memories for you. They are lovely books, and I agree everyone should read them! The saucepan man is priceless. The books are worth reading for him alone.

  11. I did not know this book, but it truly looks magical, and the illustrations are gorgeous :)

  12. barbaraannefisher7 February 2013 at 07:39

    Hello Hilde,
    That’s what I like best about blogs – finding out about books I’ve never seen before, so I’m glad to be able to share some like that as well.
    It is a magical story.

  13. I've never heard of this book, but it looks delightful. I love the pictures. Gardens separated by a fence seem to have a magical feeling about them.

  14. Just my opinion but I think the Enchanted Wood and the Faraway books are the nicest books EB wrote.

    Last year was the first time I had read the Magic Faraway Tree and I probably should have read the Enchanted Wood first, I'm going to read this book soon.

    I loved Moon-Face and the woman who was always washing and throwing out the water down the Faraway tree.

    The illustrations in these books are so nice.

    Thanks Barbara.

  15. barbaraannefisher8 February 2013 at 12:05

    Hello Donna It really is a delightful book, and you are so right about the magical feeling.

  16. barbaraannefisher8 February 2013 at 12:18

    Hi Michelle,
    I agree; they are the nicest, although I think the Famous Five books are still my favourites. It amazes me how Enid Blyton came up with so many interesting/funny characters.

  17. I am trying to locate a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree illustrated by Jane and Anne Grahame Johnstone. I know they illustrated the first book, the Enchanted Wood which I love. Can anyone confirm that they illustrated these other two books. Have spent many hours researching and getting somewhat confused.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx