The Enid Blyton Society
Enid Blyton's Omnibus!
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Book Details...

First edition: 1952
Publisher: George Newnes
Cover Art: Bernard Richardson
Illustrator: listed with stories
Category: Non-Series Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

On This Page...

List of Contents
Artwork
Review by Terry Gustafson
Further Illustrations

  1. Off With the Adventurous Four Again!
    Illustrations: Jessie Land
    Story: Sunny Stories Nos.521 - 524 Nov 30, 1951 - Jan 11, 1952
  2. Good Old Wishing-Chair!
    Illustrations: Hilda McGavin
    Story: Sunny Stories Nos.525 - 528 Jan 25 - Mar 7, 1952
  3. A Circus Adventure {Galliano's Circus}
    Illustrations: E.H. Davie
    Story: Sunny Stories Nos.529 - 532 Mar 21 - May 2, 1952
  4. The Faraway Tree
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Sunny Stories Nos.533 - 536 May 16 - Jun 27, 1952
  5. Here's the Naughtiest Girl Again!
    Illustrations: Bruno Kay
    Story: Sunny Stories Nos.537 - 541 Jun 11 - Sep 5, 1952
{ } indicates popular characters where not mentioned in the title


Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Bernard Richardson



Cloth boards of the 1st edition



Endpapers from the 1st edition, illustrated by G. Ambler



Frontis from the 1st edition, illustrated by Dorothy M. Wheeler



Title page from the 1st edition
Here's what could be classed as an extremely desirable book for a Fan of the Enid Blyton tales. It's a compendium of stories featuring characters who would be alongside the best of those produced by EB. Another example of a compendium would be The Big Enid Blyton Book which is another attractive volume that contains mainly excerpts from other books and these could be very handy for someone who's not sure what to read next. Enid Blyton's Omnibus! is unique however because it contains five complete stories with chapters about characters which are favourites all over the world. Not only that, but it has lovely pictures by five different artists and they're in colour. There's no doubt about it — we have been spoilt. OK, there's no Bill Smugs. Kirrin? No! Find-Outers? No! Malory Towers? No! However, there are plenty of other favourite Enid Blyton characters to choose from and the aforementioned books had plenty of attention in their day in fact if you count the Kirrin books you'll come up with 21 plus a few short stories. The Omnibus contents are a combination of Reality and the Fairy World so Variety is the key-note.
Off with the Adventurous Four Again!

The treasures that are offered begin with a tale of The Adventurous Four and if you want to get an idea of what makes them tick, the original books are summarized on this site. There were only two in the series produced about this band of sea-farers and now here's a third although it's not a book of course — just about 35 pages of vintage Blyton and remember ... the pictures are in glorious colour! Andy is a big strong boy who has left school and now helps his father with the fishing. He owns a little boat called the Andy and I thought that might be a little unusual because in my experience boats are usually named after females but I could be wrong about that and I'm sure there wouldn't be any official rule. Andy's about 24 years old but he isn't really — it's just that in the first book he was at the fourteen mark and as this particular story originated in about 1951 the sum can be calculated.

He's waiting for his three friends to arrive for a day of sailing and here they come. There's red-haired Tom. He's 12 and his hobby is eating. Behind him are twin sisters — Mary and Jill who always have their hair done up in plaits. They join Andy and they're about to cast off for a wonderful day on the water but there's one thing that must be checked. When you are off on a sailing trip there are all kinds of duties to be partaken to ensure survival so Tom enquires of Andy re the arrangements. Andy has checked them out but Tom re-checks everything personally by peering into the tiny cabin and confirming that there's plenty of food and that includes sausages which are essential. Right! They're ready to cast off. It's a heavenly day with a lovely breeze filling the little red sail. The two girls do what girls like to do — leave the work to the boys. Tom takes his turn at the tiller and Jill contentedly lets her hand drag in the cool clear water as they scud along.

The shore is left far behind and they approach some small islands which look very tempting to explore so they choose one which has plenty of birds and they guide the boat into a handy little cove. They vote to have a meal on top of a cliff and they set off with ham, bread, crisp lettuce, tomatoes and plums. Tom who doesn't think in half-measures remarks that he could drink at least a bathful of lemonade. The picture can be formed of a typical Enid Blyton picnic which many people in real life have experienced because I have seen photographs of one on this site. The only difference is that the storybook characters have exotic locations for theirs although if you traveled to another country to experience a picnic I think that could also be considered exotic. In this case it's at the top of a cliff on a tiny island off the North-East coast of Scotland (that's deduced from the previous voyages of the Adventurous Four) and here's the picture: — four children sitting on cushions of pink thrift high up on a cliff overlooking the deep blue sea with a strong breeze keeping them nice and cool. Tom opens a tin of ham and it's time to eat. Their happiness is complete.

Being the Adventurous Four they must experience an 'adventure' of some kind and they do. It begins when Mary climbs to the top of a little rocky hill and gazes idly at an adjoining island where she sees what looks like scraps of paper blowing around the place. That's a very odd occurrence because they're miles from nowhere and there doesn't seem to be anyone else about. She reports the puzzle to her Superiors and a decision is made to investigate. They make there way to the island in question and pick up some of the papers but they're no wiser when they see just queer numbers and things printed on them. Andy who is a little worldlier than the others thinks they might be plans of some kind — maybe for a building, or a liner, or even a submarine. There's a general feeling that they are looking at bits of stolen plans so they hunt around and gather as many pieces as they can and then find a suitcase behind a rock and it's stuffed with similar papers. It's a mystery all right and Andy scouts around to see if he can find an owner. He discovers a couple of men asleep near a cave and he reports back. There really seems to be something odd going on and they think they'd better take the case away with them but it'd be difficult to get it across to the island where their boat is moored without getting the papers all wet so Andy slips off to fetch the boat and sail it over. That's fine but meanwhile the men awaken and discover Tom and his sisters. Apparently they're bird-watchers or that's what they tell the kids and they mention that they're mislaid a suitcase. Have the children seen it? It's obvious they have because Jill mentions the papers they saw blowing about and the men become suspicious because the suitcase is nowhere to be seen. They take on the role of 'Enemy'!

The remainder of the story reveals how the children attempt to defeat the men who have become very threatening indeed. Will Andy be able to collect the others? Suppose he did and a man swam out and tried to board his boat? Something of that nature does happen so it's thrills and danger in this final tale featuring Enid Blyton's Adventurous Four and their valiant attempts, once again, to combat Evil.
Good Old Wishing-Chair!

What a wonderful surprise to come across another tale about the good old Wishing-Chair. In chapter #1 there's a lovely picture featuring Chinky at the window of Mollie and Peter's house and a little robin standing on a nearby branch. Explanations please!

Well, Mollie and Peter have just arrived home for a half-term holiday. Chinky has come back from his mother's place to visit them and he's brought with him the fabulous Wishing-Chair which he looks after when the children are at school. Mollie and Peter learn that mother's not at home — she's gone to visit Granny who's rather sick. What about Daddy? He's away. O.K! In one sense this means a miserable holiday because Mollie and Peter want their mother and Father at home, but looking at it from another angle, there will be more freedom for them to go on an adventure or two in the Wishing-Chair because, despite the length of time they've possessed it, their parents are still not privy to its extraordinary powers. The fact is that the Wishing-Chair sometimes grows wings and anyone sitting in it can be flown away to experience adventures of all kinds. It can soar above the clouds and travel at blinding speed to places which include those beyond the imagination of most mortals. Fairy Kings and Queens residing in their Kingdoms are accessible. Castles built on clouds can be entered, Witches, Wizards, Pixies, Gnomes and a host of related magical folk who are but figments of the imagination, can be confronted in the extraordinary lands that are accessible to those who travel in this amazing Chair. Mollie and Peter together with Chinky, who is a pixie they rescued from a giant's castle, want to go off on another trip during the little time they have so they ask Mrs. Williams their cook if they could sleep in their playroom at the bottom of the garden.

After they unpack they are off down to see Chinky. Mrs. Willy, as they call their cook, is extremely generous and willing to help all she can. She plies the children with buns and bread and butter and honey-in-the-comb and biscuits and ice-cream and ginger-beer and then they're off down to the playroom where there's a wonderful reunion with their pixie friend. He has news — apparently a tiresome brownie has been hanging around wanting to sit in the Chair. Chinky has scared him off so things are fine and he tells children what's been happening with their precious chair whilst he had it at his home. Mollie and Peter have decided to sleep down in the playroom so they'll be ready and waiting for when the Chair decides to grow its wings again. You can't just get into it and wish yourself away — it must have its wings. Mrs. Willy acquiesces to their desires because mother had told her to let the children do what they like — as long as it's not something silly.

There's no doubt about it that colour in the pictures adds so much to the enjoyment and we also have the services of the original artist — Hilda McGavin. Back to the story — that interfering brownie is still hanging around and he's being a bit of a nuisance. The children go to get some more food for supper and when they return they come across Chinky attacking him. The little nuisance runs out of the playroom and ends up with an egg cracked over his head when he bumps into Peter who's carrying a tray of food.

"I'll pay you out. I will ... I will!" Then the brownie runs off.

It was a lovely summer's evening, still quite light. As they sat by the doorway munching big slices of jam sandwich, a purple cloud blew up. Big drops of rain fell and yet the sun still shone brightly.

When a rainbow appears Mollie expresses a desire to fly up to it in the chair and locate the legendary crock of gold which lies at its base — but that can wait for another day and so they prepare for bed. As the rainbow fades the children and their little friend Chinky drift off to sleep but it's not for very long because the Wishing-Chair which adheres to no set hours begins creaking and that means its wings are beginning to grow. Peter hears it. He wakes the others and they jump on to the chair which immediately takes off into the air. Before any of them can give a command, a voice comes from somewhere and it orders the Wishing-Chair to head for the rainbow! This puzzles them but they put it down to that nuisance of a brownie yelling from somewhere down below.

Well! Why not go to the rainbow — and then, entering their thoughts, the mysterious little voice yells out again, "Go to the rainbow, Chair!" What's happening? Who and where is the owner of that voice? They hear a giggle but that's all. Off they go over the hills and dales, and then they rise higher and higher — bound for the shimmering rainbow which has reappeared. Up and over it they go and Mollie jumps down upon it but the rainbow is slippery and she descends at high speed and falls with a bump to the ground.

Since the dawn of time the crock of gold has been lying at the bottom of the rainbow and now Earth's history books can record that it was finally discovered by one — 'Mollie'. Yes, the little girl notices it there half-buried in the ground and she pulls it out with some help from the others. They're ready to fly off again but there's that voice — ordering the chair to turn towards Brownie Mountain! This is complicating things. Chinky orders it to search out the Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe and it sets off then changes course and next moment they're sailing over the Land of Bells. On they go through the night sky ... over the Town of Bad Dreams until they descend into the Village of Gobbo. They land but don't realise that you must not come here unless you have a naughty brownie with you who needs to be taken before their chief. The children and Chinky once again rise in the air but they are in a Fairy world where they are dealing with magic people who will not be taken in as easily as humans are. The super-sensitive brownies cotton on to the fact that someone is hidden on the Wishing-Chair. One of them pulls the Chair down and discovers a stowaway clinging to the underside. It's none other than the tiresome little fellow who was hanging around the playroom. His name is very fittingly 'Nose-About' and he's now in trouble. The Chair had very cleverly known that the Village of Gobbo was exactly the place to take him.

Nose-About is sentenced to one spanking every day for a month and it looks as if he'll never be allowed to leave the village. No more will he see his mother and his little sister whom he takes to school each day. He cries bitterly and Mollie feels sorry for him. She wants him freed but that's impossible unless they pay enough gold to ensure that their master — The Great Gobbo, can pay for some lovely rose gardens he's laying out. It would cost 1000 pieces of gold.

How much gold do you think is in the crock that Mollie found? You are almost Dead Right!

This adventure in the Wishing-Chair has to end with one of the nicest experiences they could all have and that's supplied because a very grateful Nose-About has a ticket for himself and his friends to Princess Peronel's birthday party. Are Mollie, Peter and Chinky his friends? You bet! The icing on the cake is that the birthday is being held in none other than the Land of Wishes. What could be a more exciting place to visit? There's no train to run for, no liner to board, no taxi to seek out because ... they have the Wishing-Chair. Up, up and away they go into the dark sky where the stars are twinkling. The chair flies on and on through the night. The children fall asleep and when they wake the sun is up and below them is a land of flowers and lakes and streams and shining palaces. I think the children's cup of happiness is filled to overflowing as they descend from the clear sky to land in a field of shining, star-like flowers.

I can visualise Enid Blyton sitting in her study or in a chair outside Green Hedges with her typewriter. Lost in a world of fantasy she is creating pictures in her mind that must be described in her latest and last 'Wishing-Chair' story.

The children and Chinky are about to have the time of their lives as one would when one is in a land where all one's wishes come true. A handsome prince and a beautiful princess temporarily replace our human stars. The prince has a circlet of gold round his head and a beautiful cloak hanging from his velvet-clad shoulders. The princess looks quite beautiful in a dress that sweeps the ground and twinkles with thousands of bright jewels. They sit in a palace of course and behind and in front of them are a string of horses and dogs and cats and what look like ice-cream sundaes being brought to them by servants and this is all because they're in Wishing Land where excess is the norm! The Princess dispenses with her gorgeous frock when she and her Prince feel like snowballing then aeroplane-flying then train-driving and finally at 4 o'clock the beautiful young Princess Peronel (she's only 100) begins her birthday party and what a time is had by all. There's an old joke that can be related to anyone who is a little self-conscious about their age:

"Did she manage to blow all the birthday candles out?"

"No! The heat drove her back!"

It would be very apt in Princess Peronel's case — One Hundred blazing candles brighten up a cake so enormous that it takes six servants to cut it.

She's so beautiful that Peter wishes hard for a dance with her. Will he succeed? He can of course when you think of the land he's in. She glides over to him and dances as lightly as a moth.

"Now I can say I've danced with a princess!"

What a marvellous place. They stay at least four days and after wishing for countless things including chocolate ices and a tame lion to ride and even beautiful wings for Mollie to fly high in the air above the trees, the time is nigh when all good children should return to their rightful surroundings. This means of course that their weekend is over and wonderful as it has been they weren't able to do anything at home. Peter wanted to play with his electric train and Mollie had wanted to take her dolls out in their pram at least once.

What a pity! "Oh dear — I do wish we had the weekend in front of us still." (hold that thought!)

The Wishing-Chair which had been changed into a throne for the late Prince and Princess to use is returned to its former self. Nose-About leaves to go back home to his mother. The 'Good-byes' are said and the Wishing-Chair prepares to launch its owners up into the sky once again. Regretfully, the two children with Chinky rise from the Land of Wishes and a course is set for home. It's a long way back so the passengers fall asleep and are wafted on over the spires of enchanted lands and back to their world of reality. Down, down from the skies they fly and the sleeping children and pixie are taken right into the playroom and emptied out on the mattress and the cushion. The chair's green-yellow wings disappear.

The children are woken quite late in the morning by Mrs. Williams knocking on the door. Good news — Granny is much better and mother will be home to lunch. She's surprised to see that Peter and Mollie are still in their clothes. The children are a little disoriented. What day is it? It turns out to be Saturday. Saturday? They came home yesterday? Surely it should be Tuesday or maybe Wednesday — The Land of Wishes is still a memory in the children's minds. What's happening? How come it's only Saturday?

The clue is there for all to see.

So there they are, just off to welcome their mother and looking forward to a wonderful half term and now we have to say 'Farewell' forever to Peter, Mollie, Chinky and their fabulous Wishing-Chair.

"Goodbye on behalf of all the children in the world and not forgetting the Blyton-Friendly Grown-Ups. We've loved reading about you."

"Crreee-eee-eak!" says the good old Wishing-Chair, happily.

Curtain
A Circus Adventure

Are there no limits to this book? The tales created for Sunny Stories Magazine are wonderful in their own right but a collection like this together with it's colouring and contrast of characters altogether in five stories is worthy of reprinting. In this third tale we revisit people who are like our own friends because they're none other than Jimmy and his loyal companion and colleague — Lotta. Let's not forget Mr. Galliano of course and we now know where we're going — yes, it's to the circus!

There are four chapters and the story begins when Galliano's Famous Circus opens in Little Carlington. There's the initial parade through the village with all the local children running beside it shouting and cheering. Lotta and Jimmy are in the driving seat of one caravan and they reach the field where the circus will camp. The Big-Top with its great ring and benches for the audience will soon go up and then everyone will need to prepare for the first performance. A crowd of children who are hanging around are treated to the sight of Oona the acrobat walking on his hands with his hat on one foot. The resident clown also makes everyone laugh and the magnificent sight of Mr. Galliano himself impresses everyone especially when he cracks his great whip. Mr. Volla's bears are upset because the caravan that's pulling their cage is stuck and they are rather frightened. Jimmy is called upon and he goes into the cage. Is this blind stupidity? It might be if it was a normal person entering the cage of bears but in this case it's the Wonder-Boy. Being very realistic, the bears are well looked after and are quite tame but when upset, animals can become quite nervy and even aggressive. Jimmy is not called the Wonder Boy for nothing and he's more than happy to help calm the bears down which he does very capably. How does one heave a stuck caravan out of the mud? The normal person rings up a towing firm. A circus performer calls on a real live elephant and in this case it's Jumbo. One big heave under the direction of his owner — Mr. Tonks, and the caravan is out.

Two young boys have come into the field and they're poking about near the monkeys' cage. This is not allowed and they are ordered out. These are the type of kids that might one day be classed as delinquents and they certainly aren't taking any notice of authority in the form of Mr. Lilliput who owns the monkeys. The two boys see Jimmy and one of them trips him up. Jimmy is no coward and he lashes out at the boy and hits him on the ear. Unfortunately for him the two of them turn on poor Jimmy and he falls down into the mud. That wasn't a wise move however on behalf of these two troublemakers because they're in an environment where trained animals reside as well as a host of circus performers who could make short work of them. Short work is carried out very abruptly by a monstrous pachyderm that grabs one boy and throws him aside then lifts the other in its great trunk and holds him squirming and helpless. At an order from his trainer, Jumbo drops the boy into the mud. The two frightened kids take to their heels but one of them yells out a threat ... " ... we'll jolly well pay you out!"

'Round One' to Jimmy!

Of necessity, this is a short story and the reader can see where it's heading. In three days time the circus is ready. Jimmy Brown's father works as a handyman and Mrs. Brown helps with various things such as schooling the two children and sewing costumes. Lotta is chatting with her in the Browns' caravan when she sees a face at the window. Those boys are back again looking for trouble so the little girl rushes outside to confront them.

"You're a dirty little grub. Go and wash your face!"

The boy who voices that insult gets a shock. Lotta rushes at him with such speed that he sits down in a puddle. The other receives a clod of earth thrown in his face! He's naturally a little furious and he grabs hold of the girl's arms ready to dispense rough justice. Lotta yells and someone hears her. Again — there are a lot of people in a circus camp to whom you can call for help and there are a lot of animals too. One answers Lotta's scream. Sammy! Now Sammy is a chimpanzee who has had his own share of adventures in previous stories and he's quite devoted to Jimmy and Lotta. He wades into the fray and scares the two boys considerably because he's big, terribly strong and, from the boys' point of view, he may be one of those gorillas you see in horror films. The boys become like lambs and they are ready to oblige with any whim that may enter Lotta's head. She thinks a small punishment would be adequate compensation so she gets the chimp to go through the boys' pockets. This is actually a trick that's been taught to Sammy by his trainer — Mr. Wally and the chimp enjoys it very much. The terrified lads stand there trembling whilst their possessions are transferred into Sammy's pockets. With perfect timing, we see Mr. Galliano himself in the distance coming towards the children with his whip ready.

That's enough for anyone! The boys make off like greased lightning and straight through the hedge they go. Good Riddance!

I think 'Round Two' can be Lotta's!

The circus opens and the performers are at their Best. The trumpets are blaring and the Grand Parade around the ring commences. Sticky's there — that's Sticky Stanley the clown who's an old friend of those who have already been introduced to Galliano's circus. Lal, Lotta's mother, comes in with the talented troupe of dogs followed by Mr. Volla with his bears and then a beautiful little girl with silvery wings, fluffy dress and shining hair. Who's that? It's the Little Grub! Goodness me ... what a transformation. Lotta is on her magnificent horse — Black Beauty which she received as a gift from young Jimmy but that's another story. Jimmy also performs in the ring of course and Lucky, his marvellous dog, brings the house down as she always does. What a wonderful show. Jimmy is the Wonder Boy indeed and doesn't everyone just love little Lotta?

No!

Two nasty little boys who have cut a hole in the side of the tent are peering at the girl. They do not like Lotta!

The show ends and the crowds are leaving the circus field. The animals are put away in their cages or caravans and the performers can now get together and talk about the day's success around their campfires and various caravans. Deep in the shadows steal two small figures who are bent on 'Paying Back'. Bolts are slid, doors opened a little and the mission is accomplished. Sammy the chimp is one animal who has been given his freedom from the caravan he's occupying whilst he waits for his master. Lilliput's monkeys, who are also in a caravan, have the means of escaping as well. The bad boys have seen to that.

Not far off, the tethered Jumbo has seen the two figures and knows they're up to mischief. He tugs at his rope. Meantime, Sammy and Jemima, Mr. Wally's favourite monkey, have joined the people who are making their way home and it looks like there's going to be trouble. A chimpanzee on the loose can be considered an offence punishable by shooting.

The loss is discovered and mayhem reigns. A search is conducted. Jimmy, who's had previous experience at chasing down escaped animals, gets to work and with Lotta's help, they set off to track the animals down — guided by Wonder Dog, Lucky. This little adventure involves a search in a garden and disbelief of their intentions by a constable and even a police chief is brought into it all. As has happened before, Sammy is threatened — a policeman with an axe can balance a chimpanzee's strength. There's plenty pf excitement for the reader to enjoy and a postscript has to be added — there's retribution for those two naughty boys and they experience, once again, the horror of being attacked by an elephant and then well whipped by the head of the circus himself — Mr. Galliano. What a scene to savour — and there's even a picture of it all.

'Forever' is not a good word to use when we say 'Goodbye' and it would be nice to know what happened to Jimmy and Lotta in later years but for the meantime, until earlier books are brought out from the bookcase, it's 'Adios!' to Galliano's Wonderful Circus.
The Faraway Tree

Not satisfied with giving us three delightful stories involving popular characters from a past age, Enid Blyton has made yet another effort to surprise and please us and she succeeds. The Faraway Tree — in colour and drawn by the original artist — Dorothy Wheeler.

The Faraway Tree stretches far away up into the sky although if it extended too far it might be noticeable to the rest of the world and planes might find it an obstruction. As the tree is unknown to the general populace, maybe it's level with the others in the Enchanted Wood but anyway it's a very special tree indeed. Fairy Folk live amongst its branches and strange lands arrive on clouds to perch at the top for a set period of time. We can visit those places by following three children and their unusual friends who climb the tree regularly and visit the strange places that perch at the top. The children involved in the Faraway Tree stories are Jo, Bessie and Fanny.

There are so many pictures on this Enid Blyton site that the characters need little explaining as to appearance. There's the Saucepan Man, Moonface, Silky the little elf and others and in this particular story the three named are joined by Jo, Bessie and Fanny and are off to explore another magical land. They meet up together in Moonface's little house near the top of the tree and after a snack of Well-I-Never rolls they set off to the very highest branch, climb a small ladder, and make their way through a hole in the cloud on which rests the Land of Toys. Yes, this is the place which is currently at the top and it sounds quite wonderful.

Unfortunately, it's not exactly the land they thought would be there. The funny little Saucepan Man is renowned for mixing things up and misinterpreting information — partly because he's a little deaf due to the noise of all the pots and kettles which hang round his body. He's the one who told them that the Land of Toys had arrived and that his aunt lives there. ... but it's not the Land of Toys. It's 'Toyland' which is a somewhat different place. Instead of toys lying around waiting for visitors to take them, this land is inhabited by real live toys and it could end up becoming a little calamitous for the children and their friends.

The outsiders aren't all that used to the ways of live toys and when Saucepan tries to push over a Wobbly Man, things take a turn for the worse. One would think that a Wobbly Man is ripe for being pushed over but apparently that's not the done thing in this land. The 'pushee' reports the infringement to the Captain of the Soldiers who confronts the visitors and seeing they aren't toys, he marches them off to a fortress.

It doesn't pay to interfere with anything that catches your eye in a strange land. Jo does and reaps the result because in the fortress he sees a toy cannon and he pulls its knob to let it off. BANG! Now he's really done it. The Captain is furious and he marches them all up into the tower where he drills them and fires accusations left, right and centre. He then orders about fifty of his soldiers to take them to the dungeon — the Deepest Dungeon!

Desperation causes Jo to push the first soldier and, like ninepins, they all fall down one after another. This surprises the Captain of course and makes him a little uncertain as to how his prisoners should be handled. He gives them an ultimatum — be incarcerated in the dungeon or become toys! Jo, Bessie, Fanny, Moonface, Silky, and Saucepan, deciding with what seems like a 'Just For The Fun of It' attitude, choose to be toys and each picks out their preference! The Captain tells them they are now the toys of their choice and they are freed. They think it's all very funny and out they go but a reality needs to be confronted — as they walk off to visit the Noah's Ark (a large boat-full of animals) some changes take place! This is serious stuff. Saucepan turns into a golliwog and he looks quite peculiar with all his pots and kettles and pans around him. Jo becomes a clockwork clown and he keeps somersaulting all the time. Moonface's clothes have disappeared and he's now a brown teddy-bear. Silky who chose to be a pretty doll turns into one with extreme beauty — attributes that could potentially cause a problem for her. Bessie and Fanny are changed into ordinary dolls with sleepy eyes meaning that they close when the dolls lie down.

They pass the Noah's Ark animals and once again their ignorance of life in this land is demonstrated. Saucepan tries to scare the two mice by shouting a loud "MEOW!" The mice don't seem to mind but 'Meow' is language — is it not? A nearby cat approaches and berates the Golliwog/Saucepan Man.

"How dare you call me such rude names?"

Whoops! One mustn't use cat language if one doesn't know what it means. They move on and come to a garage run by a golliwog. Another one is there in a car and when he's approached for help by Silky he melts. You bet he'll help. What do they want? They want to become themselves again of course. They don't like being toys and Jo's thoroughly sick of having to turn somersaults. Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom the old brownie might have the answer and the golliwog says he'll take them all to visit him because Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom is a spell-maker so they manage to squeeze into the golliwog's car and away they go. The golliwog makes Silky sit next to him of course because she's so pretty and he wants to talk to her. Eventually they arrive at Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom's house and they think Silky should be the one to go and knock on the door because Mr. Oom,-Boom-Boom is apparently of uneven temper — but he might be inclined to relax a little with such a lovely visitor calling on him. Silky goes to the door and uses the big knocker but when she tries to let go of it she can't. The knocker holds her fast until the door opens and Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom appears.

He frowns but when he sees Silky he smiles, "Ah! What a dear little doll! No wonder my knocker wouldn't let you go. I've never seen a doll as pretty as you! Do you know where you ought to be?"

Here it comes. You can't be as gorgeous as Silky-Doll in Toyland without the inevitable happening!

"You ought to be standing at the very top of the Christmas Tree in Santa Claus' castle!"

He takes them all inside and begins bargaining. Sure, he can change them back but on one condition. He'll restore four but the fifth will remain as he/she is. Who does he want to keep back? In his own interest of earning a little money Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom wants to sell Silky to Santa Claus and for the sake of her friends, Silky is quite prepared to sacrifice herself.

"NEVER!" yell the others. "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!"

Old Mr. Oom-Boom-Boom, flies into a rage and rushes at Jo but surprisingly, Jo manages to grab his beard and tie him with it to the table — then they all flee as if all the bats in hell were after them. What a relief, their friend the golliwog is still waiting for them outside in his car. They pile in and make off, but to where? What will happen to them? Are they stuck here for the rest of their lives?

The final section of the story tells of something fantastic that happens. The golliwog takes them to the station where they board a train for the Land of Santa Claus because the feeling is that he, being an expert who deals with toys all the time, should be able to help them. They say 'Goodbye', to their very obliging Golliwog pal and promise to write to him. This sends him Over the Moon because he's never had a letter in his life and then Silky gives him a kiss which sends him Shooting towards the Stars!

"I've never been kissed before. Never! A kiss — and letters — my word, I am a lucky golliwog!"

Now the Faraway Tree visitors board the train and head for the Castle of Santa Claus. It's a long journey and they all fall asleep but the porter wakens them when they reach a snowy land with a magnificent towering palace on a nearby hill. They catch a handy sleigh and are deposited at the castle door and the accompanying Wheeler picture could be compared with what we saw in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy from Kansas and her friends reach the entrance to Emerald City but as opposed to the welcome they received, the visitors from The Enchanted Wood are admitted instantly. For a little while they watch imps and goblins preparing toys for their ultimate destination i.e.: the stockings of countless children throughout the world and then ... The Man Himself appears. Yes, it's, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nick, Papá Noel, Tomte, Kris Kringle — The Genuine Man of Legend, with his jolly face and twinkling eyes and dressed in his familiar red and white costume. What a sight! He approaches them.

Silky is becoming used to admiration regarding her beauty and sure enough more comes her way. Santa looks at her ...

"You weren't made in my castle. You are the loveliest doll I've ever seen. I've a good mind to keep you for myself and put you at the very top of my own big Christmas Tree."

In case you might not be aware, this is a compliment that would gladden the heart of any doll that exists. What an Honour and what a Privilege! This is the ultimate desire of any toy in the world but unfortunately for Santa, he does not know what Silky and her friends know.

This wonderful tale ends with everything turning out fine when Father Christmas learns the identities of those who confront him.

"What! The famous Moonface? Well, well — to think I'm meeting the famous Moonface at last. And I suppose this darling doll is Silky the pixie ... and of course — this is the old Saucepan Man!"

Yes, he knows them all because children all round the world keep asking him for Faraway Tree books. How's that for a laugh? Now, it's time for a romantic sleigh ride back to the Enchanted Wood — their destination being the top of the Faraway Tree. Then they all crowd into Moonface's little house and a magic spell is being incanted by Santa :-

"Go in as you are,

Come out as you were,

Go in as you are,

Come out as you were."

He touches each one and then it's a ride for them all, yes, even the Big Man himself, down the slippery-slip to land on the forest floor — where it's now time for a 'Parting of Sweet Sorrow'. The children must leave the Faraway tree and all their friends and they slowly turn towards their home. Looking back, Jo, Bessie and Fanny see Moonface, Silky and the Saucepan Man being hauled back up the tree in a basket together with Santa for another thrilling ride down the slippery-slip. There they are ... all waving, "Goodbye."

Is it 'Goodbye' forever to the wonderful Faraway Tree and the characters we know so well? Let's hope that one can never be 'quite' sure!
Here's The Naughtiest Girl Again!

The final tale in the Omnibus is one which stars Elizabeth Allen. Originally this young girl displayed the most shocking manners and temperament when she was sent to boarding school, but she changed. The school she attends is none other than Whyteleafe which is run by Miss Belle, Miss Best and Mr. Johns. Certain innovative procedures are followed insofar as the children themselves take care of sorting their own problems out and this can be a major part of school-life. Recalcitrant children are dealt with at the School Meetings and decisions are made which affect the boys and girls according to their behaviour. There are monitors (prefects) who are elected by popular vote and they can give permission to students when they need it for various activities and they are also charged with giving advice and generally bringing kids with rebellious spirits to heel in their everyday life prior to the next Meeting. Elizabeth, the Naughtiest Girl, is a monitor! How can that be? It's simply because her negative attitude was treated as above and she changed into a very good girl — such a swell person in fact that she made it to monitorship. She has to watch herself though because her fairly lively temper is still simmering a little beneath the surface but it's pretty well under control.

It's the summer term and the kids we all know are back again. There's Elizabeth of course and her good friends — Julian Holland (which distinguishes him from the adventuresome Kirrin adventurer who bears the same first-name) and John who's into gardening in a big way. Rosemary is back and Harry who was helped considerably with certain problems during his first term at Whyteleafe School. The rest of the students are also back and raring to go.

A boy with a sulky face who looks a bit like Julian is a new scholar and he happens to be Julian's cousin. His name is Patrick and he and Julian don't get on all that well because Patrick doesn't like being outdone by anyone and that's exactly what Julian can do whether in class or playing sport. Julian is, for want of a better word, 'Brilliant'. He can be lazy but if he wants to, he can excel over most of the people with whom he rubs shoulders. He's also a born trickster meaning that he can think up ingenious pranks to play on unsuspecting school teachers — and he does! Elizabeth is introduced to Patrick and there is instant friction when the boy makes his dislike of her and of Julian felt very strongly.

Elizabeth settles into school life once again with plans for helping in the garden and she has tennis aspirations not to mention thoughts about pony-riding and she may even attempt to top Julian in the classroom. Patrick also settles in — well, he has to, and despite his strong preference to attend a boys-only school where there would be no girls who can order him around, he manages to make a reasonably good impression at Whyteleafe because he's good at games and can be funny if he wants to although he can't imitate Julian's crazy talent for making weird noises. He's tried, but failed to make them in such a way that no one can detect the source. Julian is similar to a ventriloquist in that respect.

It's not very long at all before Patrick comes up against Elizabeth whom he has been pointedly ignoring because she's Julian's friend. A general meeting dealing with gardening and associated matters is held and everyone in the first form has to attend. Patrick doesn't because he's not interested and he goes away by himself to practice hitting balls with his racquet. Elizabeth is sent to fetch him and you might imagine what happens. Here's a girl coming to order Patrick of all people to attend a meeting. Elizabeth confronts him, but he won't accompany her. The girl's impulsiveness gets the better of her and she grabs his racquet then races off with it, and throws it into a bush on her way back to the meeting. A very angry Patrick storms after her and ends up at the venue demanding the return of his possession... No one's interested — the meeting holds priority. Patrick is ordered to sit down and he does so.

It's now raining. The racquet is outside in the bushes and getting very wet. After the meeting it's time for Elizabeth to return the racquet which is in very bad shape from the wetting it has received or at least Patrick thinks it's in very bad shape in fact he thinks that it's ruined and, putting it very, very mildly, this unfortunate accident does not help Elizabeth/Patrick relations in any way whatsoever! The damage is reported at the next School Meeting and William, the head boy who is one of those 'In Charge' is rather a clued-up lad when it comes to racquets and he discovers an inconsistency in the damage which results in Patrick looking a bit of a fool and also a little out of pocket and this, together with Julian constantly bettering him in class, makes life quite miserable for the boy. Julian doesn't really want to crow over his cousin all the time but Patrick'' attitude is such that he (Julian) and Elizabeth are determined to push him down whether it be in the classroom or at tennis which Patrick loves. Miss Ranger, the form mistress is amazed at the high marks the three are getting but doesn't realize the true facts — 'two' are vying with 'one'.

Julian thinks it's time to play a trick in class and he does. It's very successful but Patrick is unimpressed and thinks Miss Ranger should be told! This doesn't endear him to anyone and they 'sit' on him. Sitting on someone in the school situation would mean that your classmates make their feelings felt in a strong way — even to the extent of physical force. Patrick goes from Bad to Worse unfortunately and raises the wrath of all during a confrontation where he lashes out with his racquet and clouts Elizabeth.

Right, that's it! "We'll call a meeting tonight and we'll confiscate his racquet!" That'll teach him! ... and ... "We'll send him to Coventry!" (That means no one will speak to him).

Elizabeth fetched her prep and did it out of doors that lovely warm evening. But it was difficult to learn French verbs when the swallows swooped and darted in the sky, and bees hummed happily in the flowers around.

Now everyone's off to bed — but where's Patrick? No one's seen him. Elizabeth snuggles down and then feels a piece of paper rustling somewhere in her bed. It's a note from the boy " ... apologize for hitting you with my racquet ... partly your fault when you grabbed at it ... now you've taken it away from me ... I wish ...I'm fed up ... ... nobody likes me ... I'm off!" — or words to that effect!

Tragedy! But tragedy can be averted with the right luck and good intentions and we can hope that this last story about the Naughtiest Girl will end as happily as the rest of them and now it's time to draw the veil over Enid Blyton's Omnibus with its wonderful tales and pictures and we can but hope that it will be reprinted in all its glory for future generations to enjoy.
The Adventurous Four voyage of discovery is illustrated by the artist who supplied pictures for the second of the original books — Jessie Land.

Any errors? Well ... Peter of Wishing-Chair fame is described as looking like a very handsome Prince with a circlet of gold round his head. Look at the picture! Mind you, the little crown may have been made of gold but coloured green which would be perfectly reasonable — especially in the Land of Wishes.

Incidentally, 100 years of age is young for a fairy — according to Chinky.

There might be a question about Mrs. Williams when she woke Peter and Mollie up late in the morning. She looked in at the door so why didn't she see Chinky who was sleeping on his cushion? The fact is that she just didn't notice him. He's small and was no doubt enveloped a little in the folds and of course she wasn't looking for anyone else.

The original colour of the Wishing-Chair's wings was red and I wondered if the artist would have remembered their changed colour in the second book of the series. She did. I can't see yellow colouring in any of the pictures so the wings have been made green and white.

'Well-I-Never Rolls' are just one of the exotic delicacies supplied by Moonface and Silky of the Faraway Tree. These particular items exude different tastes as you eat them so you might experience a coconut flavour, then cheese, chocolate, or perhaps ginger, pickled onions, or even custard. What do you say when you taste one off these extraordinary rolls?

In the Faraway Tree story a golliwog was described as being 'very black'. There's a philosophical query here. What does 'Very Black' mean? Is there such a thing as 'Very White'? Black is absence of colour and white is all the colours combined so I think that black is black is black and white is white is white but that could be open to correction.

It's a little odd how the train the Faraway Tree team took to the Land of Santa Claus managed to get there. Clouds bearing different lands visit the top of the magical Tree so a train traveling on rails to another land could feasibly experience difficulty.

The 'Slippery-Slip' is a hole in the middle of Moonface's little house which goes right down to the very bottom of the tree. You sit on a cushion and whiz off round and round until you reach the base of the trunk and emerge from a trapdoor that springs open and deposits you on a big tuft of moss.

There's no mention of Arabella in the Naughtiest Girl story so perhaps she's been taken from Whyteleafe and enrolled at a Finishing School! (Arabella was a rich girl who had connections with Elizabeth's family. She looked like a golden haired, blue-eyed doll).

'Racket' is spelt 'racquet' because I kept thinking of 'racket' as being a noise!

The illustrations for the Naughtiest Girl are by neither of the previous artists. The coy 'Kay' has done them.

The beautiful cover is by Bernard Richardson and it adds the finishing touch. We can see all the characters represented — there's Moonface standing up in the cart together with Silky and the Saucepan man lagging behind and a squirrel is even included. The Pride of Place up top is occupied by Peter and Mollie and Chinky who have the means to soar up into the air and race away at a far greater pace than the omnibus which is rumbling its way along the road. With Mr. Galliano the driver, we can spy little dog Lucky together with Lotta and Jimmy and behind them are Andy, Mary, Jill and Tom of Adventurous Four fame. Jo, Bessie and Fanny are comfortable in their seats at the rear and last but not least is Elizabeth Allen enjoying the feel of the wind blowing through her hair. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.