Stuck for Secret Santa ideas? These brilliant parody books are the answer

You can now get Famous Five and Ladybird books for grown-ups!

By Alison Lynch, 30 November 2016
Stuck for Secret Santa ideas? These brilliant parody books are the answer

Enid Blyton's Famous Five books are the latest to receive the parody treatment, following the success of the first spoof Ladybird books for adults last year. 

Also out for Christmas are the latest releases in the Ladybird for adults series

This Christmas, your childhood chums Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog have grown up and are now tackling the confusing world of adulthood in five new hilarious and relatable books. 

The new releases, all available in-store at Asda, take the innocent young adventurers away from Kirrin Island, where the sun always shone and there was always lashings of ginger beer, and drop them into present day. 

They're written by bestselling author Bruno Vincent and are both a nostalgic throwback to our favourite childhood sleuths and a witty commentary on modern life. 

Bruno told us: "These books aren't parodies of Enid Blyton - instead they mock modern life through the eyes of Blyton's best-loved characters. It's things like going on a gluten-free diet, and being sent on team-building days, and the agony and rigmarole of modern parenthood that I was trying to make fun of."

Asked what appealed to him about writing the books, he said: "It was too precious a gift to refuse and I just hope people think I've done a decent job."

Like many of us, Bruno was a fan of the Famous Five and Secret Seven books as a child, but he'd "completely forgotten" many of the characters and stories, so his research involved extensively revisiting the classic adventures.

Then he set about imagining how the familiar characters would cope in adulthood, "when everything's less stable" and "ordinary life is frightening enough just on its own."

Here's a sneak peek at the scary new adult experiences that await them. 

Five Go On A Strategy Away Day

"By the end of the day, we will have formed a holistic approach that should really be a paradigm shift to you all."

Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they embark on a day of activities designed to bring them closer together. But will it work, or will it tear them apart? And is that the Secret Seven in the adjacent conference room? 

Five On Brexit Island

"Timmy was neutral, although, if he had understood the variety of sausages available on the European mainland, that would have been a factor."

Join the gang as they leave Britain to declare independence for Kirrin Island. But can their friendship survive the horrors of a referendum? 

Five Go Parenting

"'We'll get the hang of it,' said Julian. 'There has to be a trick to this parenting lark.' But despite his jolly words, his cheeks were hollow and his eyes were empty."

The Famous Five are looking after Cousin Rupert's daughter little Lily Kirrin. But can they succeed as parents, and for how long?"

Five Give Up The Booze

"It had all spiralled so terribly out of control. They felt betrayed by themselves. After all, they weren't at university anymore. This sort of nonsense had to stop."

They all share the same New Year's Resolution - no alcohol for a month. But how will then manage it, with an imminent stag do and wedding to attend? 

Five Go Gluten Free

"'What on earth is this?' interrupted Julian. 'It's cauliflower rice,' said Anne. 'So is it rice? Or cauliflower? I'm confused.'"

Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy as they try to have a jolly good time, just without gluten. But will our intrepid friends embrace the spiralizer?

Speaking about the release of their five new Famous Five books, Anne McNeil of Enid Blyton Entertainment said they were "thrilled" that the books "are being reimagined for grown-ups", adding: "We are certain Enid Blyton would have delighted in the gentle parody of her characters - characters which have helped to create a multi-million-selling global brand."

Ladybird for adults

Also out for Christmas - and perfect for any grown-ups in need of a little no-nonsense advice - are the latest releases in the Ladybird for adults series.

New titles include the essential Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse and Ladybird Book of the Sickie. 

Whether you're looking for Secret Santa presents or fun stocking fillers, these spoofs on your much-loved children's fiction make the perfect gifts. 

Not only will they have you chuckling around the dinner table, you can pick them up in-store at Asda for just £4 each (or £7 for two). 

Here's to a spiffing Christmas! 

The new Famous Five series is now available across 147 Asda stores (Five Do Dry January is available in 422 from 1st December). The following Penguin books are available in 602 stores from now until Christmas; How It Works: The Cat, How It Works: The Dog, How It Works: The Wife, How Works: The Husband, How It Works: The Mum, How It Works: The Dad. How It Works: The Grandparent, The Ladybird Book of the Hangover.

If you're looking for your next good book, be sure to check out the range of new releases and classic books at your local Asda store.