This is perhaps an unusual tale simply because no real disaster befalls anyone in Toyland, or Noddy in particular. Nobody’s bike is destroyed, nobody’s car is stolen or damaged or breaks down. The worst thing that happens to Noddy is the wind has suddenly grown a personality and waits around his little house to blow his hat off. But nothing is stolen and no-one is tricked or in trouble with Mr Plod. In fact, even more unusually, Noddy is praised for his considerate driving by the local policeman.
Why is his driving so good? Because he has Tessie Bear in his car and she is a very good influence on Noddy. So much so he ears a shilling from a sailor doll and uses it to buy a kite for himself and Tessie Bear to fly. This story could really be called Noddy and the Kite as the rest of the story revolves around the kite.
The little wind subplot earlier is more relevant than it first seemed, as kites need a good windy day to fly. It is such a windy day in fact that it takes both Noddy and Tessie to hold onto the string and even then they nearly fly away. This does not correlate with any of my childhood experiences with kites which invariably involved running around a park throwing a kite in the air and desperately hoping it would catch the wind. From time to time it did, then after a few triumphant moments it would come crashing back down. Sometimes on my head.
Anyway, clearly Noddy and Tessie are extremely proficient in flying a kite. That or the kite is a very skilled kite. Like the wind it is given somewhat of a personality. When it is tied to a milk churn to allow Noddy and Tessie to round up some escaped chickens it strains for the sky and is powerful enough to lift the full churn plus a basket of eggs right up into the sky.
This leads to an amusing turn of events involving Noddy and Tessie chasing the kite in the car while the Toy Village inhabitants panic over the hail of eggs and rain of milk. A reward is even offered for anyone who can shed light on these mysterious new weather phenomena. Five golden pounds are offered for that information, plus ten shillings for the return of the farmer’s only milk churn. Interestingly the illustrations shows the poster with five golden pounds on it, but the second poster is a 50p reward. My copy is a Purnell reprint, but it seems odd that one detail of the illustrations should be changed and not the text. If anyone has the original book, I’d like to know if that’s the same.
I suppose technically this could be the sort of disaster I implied didn’t happen, but it’s all so comical and light-hearted I’m hard-pushed to really consider it a real disaster.
When the empty milk churn and basket are found, Noddy and Tessie explain everything to Big-Ears and Mr Plod who find the whole thing hilarious. Noddy and Tessie even get the reward!
This is one of those stories where not a huge amount happens, but it’s quite a funny and charming tale nonetheless. It’s also nice not to have Noddy boo-hooing all over the place or behaving too stupidly.