Hurrah For Little Noddy! – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition?


I realise now (having quickly browsed the previous Noddy comparison) that I didn’t do a tally of changes. I’ve now counted and can declare it was 14 – going by the same rule as past books and only counting the first instance of each new alteration.

The first book had a slow start for alterations but this time I was finding them right from the first page, and rather frequently too.


SOME CHANGES ARE THE SAME AS IN THE FIRST BOOK

  • Mr Tubby’s fat little wife is still just his wife.
  • Mr. and Mrs. lose their full stops.
  • When Mrs Tubby warns Noddy to be careful of one or two of the golliwogs this is changed to monkeys.
  • Hyphens are replaced with spaces in phrases like spring-cleaning.
  • Gay is replaced with other descriptive words like bright or cheerful.
  • Toy Village is still Toy Town

PLENTY OF THE CHANGES SO MINOR YOU WONDER WHY THEY BOTHERED

  • Noddy’s house was built of toy bricks, now it was built with toy bricks. 
  • Noddy’s head no longer nods very fast indeed, just very fast.
  • Till as in till you’ve got some money or until he comes back is replaced with until.
  • A dear little blue car has become just a little blue car.
  • Hoot the horns is now toot the horns.
  • Noddy’s new car originally said poop-poop, now it says parp-parp.
  • That was very very nice has become that was very nice.
  • When Noddy crashes the borrowed car and hits a tree originally it knocked it over. This line has been removed in the treasury.
  • After cleaning out the chimneys in the doll’s house one of the dolls tells him that your face is very black now. This has been updated to very dirty now.
  • The Three Skittles (referred to with both words in capitals every time) have become the three Skittles. That sounds like they are any three skittles, rather than a specific group.
  • Springtime (italic emphasis on spring) has been changed to springtime (all italics). To be truthful, neither makes total sense. The doll is explaining that spring cleaning has nothing to do with metal springs.
  • The italics have also been removed from I think he deserves a reward.
  • He couldn’t believe his eyes. He really couldn’t loses its second sentence.

CHANGES MADE FOR CONTINUITY’S SAKE

  • The policeman known as Mr Policeman, the policeman and the chief policeman is now called Mr Plod as he is in later books.
  • In the original the place where the goblins live is referred to as both Goblin Village and Goblin Town. This has been changed to be Goblin Village consistently.

THE LARGER CHANGES

In the original there is a mistress doll in charge of the house, but in the treasury her role has been amalgamated with the doll who opens the door for Noddy.

  • When Noddy arrives at Four-Chimney House the door is originally opened by a doll who speaks immediately. In the treasury two lines are added She had curly golden hair and bright blue eyes. She looked at Noddy, and  he bowed, his head nodding all the time.
  • “Perhaps the mistress will say you can help”. The mistress was a very beautiful doll with curly golden hair and bright blue eyes. She looked at Noddy, and he bowed, his head nodding all the time.  “The sweep hasn’t come,” she said. So we see where the earlier lines have been cut from, and used to describe the doll at the door. The treasure has her take charge,“I’ll see if I can find something for you to do.” The little doll thought for a moment. “The sweep hasn’t come,” she said.
  • After that the mistress doll is referred to as the golden haired doll, or on one occasion as just the doll. Confusingly the doll who opened the door is depicted as having golden curls and is, in the original, also called the golden haired doll. 

The owner of the Toy Town/Village garage was originally Mr Golly (also referred to as the golliwog for several chapters before he is named.) He is now Mr Sparks, a doll.

  • The garage owner is described as a golliwog with a very black, smiling face, and now as a kindly-looking doll called Mr Sparks.
  • When Noddy tooted a car horn The golliwog almost jumped out of his black skin, but now Mr Sparks, the garage owner, almost jumped out of his skin. There was no need to add the garage owner here though, as it was only a page or two ago that we were introduced to him and his role.
  • The Golliwog’s Garage is now named The Toy Garage (in characters’ conversations).
  • When the cars have been stolen it’s said that Mr Golly was crying black tears all down his face. The treasure reads Mr Sparks was in a terrible state. (Why he can’t be crying an unspecified colour of tears I don’t know.)

These aren’t all of the changed illustrations but as the majority replace Mr Golly with Mr Sparks in the same way there was no need to show them all.

Big-Ears and Noddy no longer share a bed when Noddy stays over:

  • Big-Ears did say If you can squeeze into my tiny bed, you can sleep with me tonight. Now he says I’ll make up a bed in my big armchair for you and you can stay with me tonight.
  • So Then they squashed into Big-Ears’ tiny, soft bed, put their arms around one another to stop themselves from rolling out, and fell fast asleep has been replaced with Then they climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. Really it should specify that Big-Ears got into bed and Noddy got into a chair.

DSCN4188

And finally:

  • The car owners get into their cars, Jumbo, the Three Skittles and so did the Sailor Doll. Then Mr Golly got into his own best car, Mr Wobbly wobbled his way into his… The treasury makes it all one (very long) sentence, and the Sailor Doll got into his, Mr Sparks got into his own best car, Mr Wobbly wobbled his way into his…

ONE THING THAT DIDN’T CHANGE

Queer -shaped  is still queer-shaped.


Right at the end there are two illustrations which have been made a bit more multi-cultural – a doll in the middle of the left picture has been given dark skin and hair, while a boy in the middle of the right picture has also been given darker skin.


Phew! What a lot of changes. Thirty-two in total (and there are only 60 pages in the book).

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One Response to Hurrah For Little Noddy! – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition?

  1. Francis says:

    They’ve finally managed to have achieved a re-written book with very little of Enid left!
    Thanks for your valuable survey, Fiona.
    Francis

    Like

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