So are you one of the thousands of parents who are being tormented by Kirsty and Rachel? For those of you lucky enough not to know, Kirsty and Rachel are the heroines from The Rainbow Magic fairy story books for girls. I first saw these books in a display outside a favourite bookshop - 'how cute' I thought, 'Lily could start collecting them'.
Hang on a sec, do you hear that? That's the sound of my deranged laughter. How could I have been so stupid?
One year later we have been through quite a few of Kirsty and Rachels adventures. They go something like this - in every single book: Kirsty and Rachel are playing happily, Kirsty notices something odd, Rachel wonders if it might be a fairy. Kirsty and Rachel find a fairy. The fairy is in trouble. Jack Frost (he's the baddie) has taken something from the Fairy Kingdom. Kirsty and Rachel help the fairies get it back. Hoorah for the girls they have saved the day. The End.
Now as a story it's ok - but after about 50 books it gets just a little tiresome. Anyway at this stage my husband and I have had it with the God-damn fairies. So last night we persuaded Lily to choose something else as her bedtime story. I very carefully tried to sway her towards some old Enid Blyton books my mother had just passed onto me. Books that I had loved as a child and wanted her to love to. They're fairly old but that's part of the charm. Pretty aren't they?
So she chose the book and she chose the story. As I was happily reading away, getting all nostalgic for my childhood I suddenly stopped. Lily looked at me and I looked as the page. Then I looked at the page again. And again. I actually could not believe what I was reading. You wouldn't either so I've taken a photo. See? See what it says? (Last para):
Shocking isn't it? To think that only one generation ago it was considered ok for little kids to call their cuddly toy 'Nigger' and for the country's bestselling children's author to be an open racist. I'm not sure what to say to that, only that my 'lovely' books have been consigned to the back of the wardrobe and bloody Kirsty and Rachel live to fight another day.