My sixth Noddy book should have been #15, Do Look Out, Noddy! which is the next in the series actually, and the one which was mentioned in the Monday post. However, me being the eejit that I am, I grabbed the wrong book on Saturday when I was packing for my holiday. So, my sixth Noddy book shall be #18 Noddy Goes to Sea. (At least I managed to bring one I hadn’t already reviewed, that’s something!)
Noddy Goes to Sea was also bought in Alton. It’s ever so slightly less tatty than some of the others I got so it cost a whopping £2.
We are back to Peter Wienk as illustrator (he illustrated You Funny Little Noddy!)
This starts off like several others, with Noddy getting up and getting on with his usual activities and thinking it’s a wonderful day. And, as always, it goes quickly wrong and he manages to get himself in trouble with Mr Plod who seems to always turn up at the worst moment for Noddy. This time it’s because Tubby Bear next door is being naughty and waters his mother’s washing and Noddy’s too. Being a childish toy, Noddy retaliates and ends up soaking the police man, naturally.
Matters are cleared up much more quickly than usual though, as there was a handy witness in Miss Fluffy cat. Tubby Bear is duly punished – spanked in fact, though I’m sure modern editions will see him scolded instead – and he runs away in the night, off to sea.
Noddy is sent off in his car to try to head him off at the docks, and well, I think I can see where the story is going given the title. So off Noddy goes, stopping only for petrol where he has no choice but to take Bumpy Dog along for the ride. He gets to the jetty just as Tubby Bear’s boat is leaving, and manages to get on before it leaves. Unfortunately, Bumpy-Dog dives in after them and the car follows. Being wooden, the car floats, and Bumpy-Dog can swim, so it’s not a complete disaster though it’s not exactly ideal.
The car gets towed along behind, and Bumpy-Dog is hauled up via a rope, just in time to face the loud-voiced captain who thinks they’re all stow-aways. Tubby Bear signed up to be a deck-hand and gets put to work and Noddy ends up having to be a cabin-boy, though he’s told to STOP NODDING YOUR HEAD AT ME by the captain.
Noddy makes the best of it, even if he does look queer in his sailor’s outfit. Tubby Bear, on the other hand, is being worked hard and feels rather sick on the ship, so bitterly regrets running away. Bumpy-Dog doesn’t fair too well either as he keeps falling out of Noddy’s hammock and over-board.
Noddy meets some mermaids, and mermen, who enjoy rides in his car which is still being towed along behind the ship, before they land at Shell Island. Noddy drives the captain around for a while and tells him all about Toyland and his friends there. The captain is quite enamoured at the sound of it and so quite happily takes Noddy, Bumpy-Dog, the car and Tubby Bear back there to be reunited with everyone.
There’s a fair moral running through this – naughty Tubby-Bear certainly learns a lesson or two about behaving. It’s nice to get away from Toy Town too, and I particularly liked he illustrations of the mermaids and Shell Island as these are unlike what we normally see in Noddy books, but they fit perfectly. It’s also nice to see it being someone other than Noddy who gets into trouble and runs away.