The Enid Blyton Society
You Funny Little Noddy!
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Book Details...

First edition: 1955
Publisher: Sampson Low
Illustrator: Peter Wienk
Category: Noddy
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Novels/Novelettes

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Reprint Covers
Review by Terry Gustafson


Cover from the 1st edition, illustrated by Peter Wienk

Frontis from the 1st edition, illustrated by Peter Wienk

Front and back flaps from the dustwrapper of the 1st edition

Title page from the 1st edition
Noddy is the character most frequently criticised by adults, but he probably makes most of his impression on children because of the colourful illustrations and the commercial 'spin-offs' rather than because of his adventures.
20th Century Children's Writers 1978
Pitter-Patter, Splish, Splash! Noddy wakes up one morning thinking he must have left his tap dripping but it turns out to be the rain pattering on his window. The little chap seems able to tailor an impromptu ditty to anything he sees and this time he bursts into a little song all about his love for wet days and the feeling of raindrops bumping on his nose. As usual, the milkman calls but he doesn't tap Noddy's head this morning because he's too wet and if you lay hands on someone in that condition the 'Someone' may become a little moist.

Plenty of people should want taxi-rides today because it's not very nice having to slosh through the puddles when you're out shopping or hurrying to catch a train, so Noddy dresses quickly and cleans his teeth twice (because he forgot to do them last night). Just as he's driving out of his gate Big-Ears, his brownie friend, arrives pedalling furiously to catch him before he disappears. Big-Ears is aware that Noddy needs a little looking after so he's brought him one of his old mackintoshes and insists that Noddy wears it. Well, that's mighty nice of him so Noddy dons it although he's not all that happy because Big-Ears is considerably stout which means the coat's much too big but the Little Nodding Man has to do what he's told when his friend speaks in such a firm voice. Big-Ears rides off and Noddy drives away looking for passengers. He picks up the Wobbly-Man and shares half of his enormous raincoat with him but it's not all that easy to steer when the passenger is attached to you like that and Noddy accidentally drives into a lamp-post which crashes to the ground. Mr. Plod the policeman fines him sixpence for that but at least the Wobbly Man pays double-fare for the part-use of the raincoat. Mrs. Monkey then hails the taxi but there's a problem with her long tail which gets in Noddy's way and another accident occurs. This time it's a post-box the car runs into which results in another fine ... two shillings this time because the letters spilled out of the box when it tipped over.

The third chapter is labelled 'Everything Goes Wrong' ... and it does. A Golly's umbrella causes another mishap which raises the wrath of Tom Teddy whose barrow of fruit has disintegrated from the impact of Noddy's automobile. There are angry faces all round and Noddy feels very small yet in the midst of his tribulation he manages to think up a song of lament concerning his plight. He drives off and then he begins to enjoy himself by racing through puddles and splashing water everywhere but unfortunately Mr. and Mrs. Jumbo who are passing nearby don't share his enthusiasm because they're soaked to the skin. Here's Mr. Plod again and this is too much for Noddy who jumps from his car and vamooses with the much-too-big raincoat threatening to trip him up. The policeman writes down in his notebook: "One good spanking for Noddy."

"Mr. Plod is FURIOUS and will lock me up in prison ... and I haven't even got my car!"

Noddy removes his hat because it's dripping wet and, huddled up in his great big coat, he tramps along the road in utter misery and recognizable by no one. Shortly, his disappearance becomes of concern to the villagers because, on reflection, they realize that Noddy wasn't entirely to blame for the accidents so they set about trying to find him. His car drives off by itself (it can do that) to Big-Ears' place and surprises the brownie who jumps in and orders it to find the little man. It can't of course so it takes him to Noddy's house. Mrs. Tubby bear, a next-door neighbour, conveys the news about the disappearance and Big-Ears is alarmed so next day he visits Mr. Plod and a notice is put up with a reward offered for news of the missing person.
Well ... what has happened to Noddy? He's ended up in Clockwork Car Town and, being an industrious little chap, he does a favour for a resident car-owner who takes a liking to him. Noddy then gets a proposition put before him which he accepts and the result is an extremely positive one for both the car owner and Noddy who earns himself a lot of money. He sets off for his own village again with all kinds of plans to get in good with everyone although first of all he needs to pop into a handy dairy and buy three ice-creams for himself — a little indulgence which I'm sure he's entitled to.

The people of Toy Village who were originally annoyed at Noddy are now making plans to even things up and they talk about what they will buy him if only he returns. A happy outcome is assured because Noddy has plenty of money to pay for any damage he's done and his return is nothing short of triumphant especially as the news has got around that hes made his mark in Clockwork Car Town as well. He's "Covered with Glory - everybody loves him again and he's a real Hero" (it doesn't take all that much to make you a hero in Toyland)! Now here's his car coming up to greet him "PARP-PARP-PARP" and there's a cheery picture of Noddy and Big-Ears driving away and a little poem at the end to round everything off. Now we must await the next book which will relate further adventures of this remarkable little man.
It's difficult to find someone in Blytondom more capable than Noddy at creating original poems but there are a few contenders around. Miss Longden is one but little more than a single example of her work is in print and just a couple of lines at that ... .. "Lost in the wreathing mists of time, Silent as years that are lost ..." Noddy's far more prolific and less dreary so the search must continue.

A book series can suffer when new illustrators take over but, so far, Noddy seems to be weathering the changes quite well. A favourite artist can often be determined by the one that does the pictures for the first few books that introduce a series to a reader so the preferred Noddy illustrator could have a comparatively wider range than that of other works.