One of the books I've recently read to my children was 'The Faraway Tree Stories' by Enid Blyton. They adored it. I found it faintly tedious for many reasons, one of which is that there are a lot of exclamation marks, especially since the protagonists Joe, Beth and Frannie are always Getting into a Lot of Trouble! It is written in the 1940s so the language is dated, the boy is always proactive and the girls do a lot of wiping of tears (their own and that of others) and giving of hugs. Not great role models, but the adventures are exciting.
In the story, the children find a magic tree that is visited by strange and different lands. They explore the lands, but have to make sure they jump off them in time before the lands move off and they are stuck on them forever. There is Roundabout Land, where everything whirls around, the Land of Ice and Snow, peopled by wicked snowmen, and the Land of Birthdays, where everything is perfect and all your wishes come true. My daughters loved this one – when you're four and six, birthdays and how to celebrate them are very hot topics.
I wouldn't mind visiting some strange and different lands. One that appeals is The Land Where Chocolate has no Calories. Or perhaps, The Land Where Zara Trousers Accommodate My Thighs. Another: The Land Where Kitchens Miraculously Self-Clean or Where Laundry Walks To the Washing Machine By Itself! The Land Where Toys Jump Back Into the Toy Box! Where Children Apply Their Own Sun-Tan Cream! Where Bed Linen Changes Daily!
Instead, I live in a less exciting world, where it appears that chocolate is fattening, I will never fit into a pair of Zara trousers and where a large proportion of housework and applying sun-tan cream is my responsibility. My sister-in-law was asked by her oldest daughter what she'd like for mother's day. Shelly said 'I'd like to lie in, and then come downstairs to find the whole house tidy' and Jessica replied, 'Isn't that a bit greedy, Mummy?'. So, forsaking big dreams, perhaps I'll settle for the Land of Being a Little Bit Greedy.