This is the seventh title in the series (so I’ve actually read a few in a row now) and one I’ve been looking forward to. I love the beach and the seaside.
Most if not all of the Noddys I’ve read so far start first thing in the morning and many feature the milkman delivering the milk. Noddy is still paying in nods for his milk, one tap to the head for each bottle. He adds to Big Ears that he has to do more nods for cream as it’s more expensive than milk.
Big Ears has come over for breakfast today as he has such a good idea that it can’t wait until later. He has decided that the two of them ought to go off on a holiday to the seaside and at first Noddy has no idea what any of it means. He doesn’t know what a holiday is (hint it has nothing to do with prickly holly), or the seaside or padding or any of it. Big Ears has to do a fair bit of explaining and (after the dishes are done) off they head in Noddy’s car.
The journey isn’t particularly smooth, even after they barrel past half of Noddy’s usual customers with the briefest of refusals. The car is as excited as Noddy and tips Big Ears out at one stage and his bike at another. Luckily they don’t get lost though and make it to the beach.
Noddy is quite afraid of it all at first but once he starts paddling it seems like he won’t stop, and of course, he ends up soaking himself. (Haven’t we all?)
It turns out that Big Ears doesn’t know everything about the seaside though as they are both very put-out when later in the day the sea creeps up the beach towards them and won’t go back. Neither of them know what a high tide is.
Noddy is very child-like in this story, even more so than in many others. He weeps when he’s pinched by a crab and is so cheerful and enthusiastic about paddling and building sandcastles and all sorts of things. He also thinks at first that the sea is too big and it moves too much, and begs Big Ears to take him to a smaller sea.
There’s not an awful lot of plot to this tale – it’s pretty much just Noddy and Big Ears playing at the seaside but they have so much fun that it’s an enchanting read all the same. There are one or two pieces of drama, though. Noddy’s car does a Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and rescues some toys that have gone boating in bad weather, and Noddy and Big Ears tent is blown away in the wind rather like what happened in The Sea of Adventure five years earlier.
After a rather cold and blustery night (there are no comfortable puffin burrows to shelter in) Big Ears makes a sensible decision – the holiday is over and there’s no need to stay and be cold. Noddy’s only too pleased and they pile into his poor old car, which thanks to its bravery has caught a cold, and trundle off home.
The illustrations by Beek are beautiful and colourful and they capture the joy of the seaside perfectly.