Children’s books should be re-written to include modern genetics

Children’s books should be re-written to include modern genetics so the three bears could identify Goldilocks with DNA, says kids science author

  • Dr Mandy Hartley wants to bring forensic science into children’s books 
  • She wants classics reworked to include genetic tests not available at the time
  • Dr Hartley worked testing DNA until switching to writing children’s books

The Famous Five often solved complex mysteries armed only with a treasure map, torch and lashings of ginger beer.

But Enid Blyton’s young heroes might have caught criminals more quickly if they had been able to use the DNA from evidence, a children’s author claims.

Dr Mandy Hartley, who wants to bring forensic science into children’s books, would like to see the classics reworked to include genetic tests not available at the time.

Enid Blyton’s young heroes might have caught criminals more quickly if they had been able to use the DNA from evidence, a children’s author claims

She says the three bears could have worked out that Goldilocks ate their porridge by taking saliva samples or testing strands of her golden hair. 

Dr Hartley, who worked testing DNA until switching to writing, said at Cheltenham Science Festival: ‘I think the children in the Famous Five could really have used DNA in solving their cases.’

Her stories see youngsters use genetics to solve cases. 

‘It is important to teach children early but adults wrongly think it’s a subject children won’t understand,’ she said. 

‘Children really get on board with DNA testing because it is vital for real-life situations which they relate to and want to solve.’

 

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