Noddy and the Bumpy Dog
First edition: 1957
Publisher: Sampson Low
Cover Art: Robert Tyndall
Illustrator: Robert Lee and Robert Tyndall
Publisher: Sampson Low
Cover Art: Robert Tyndall
Illustrator: Robert Lee and Robert Tyndall
On This Page...
Cover from the 1st edition, illustrated by Robert Tyndall
Frontis from the 1st edition, illustrated by Robert Lee
Front and back flaps from the dustwrapper of the 1st edition
Title page from the 1st edition, signed by Robert Tyndall
At different times you could see him on the West End stageThe 14th Noddy book introduces a new character — the dear little Bumpy Dog and he appears as the result of a road accident. Noddy has a busy morning carting various passengers around in his little car and he's more than ready for an ice-cream when it's offered to him. Miss Rabbit wants help with choosing a pink ribbon to match her frock and as Noddy doesn't feel that he possesses the expertise for that defined task he calls on Tessie Bear for help and takes her with Miss Rabbit to the, market. I'm not sure what kind of help one would need to choose a pink ribbon because a ribbon is a ribbon and pink is pink but perhaps the shade of the colouring might be crucial to a lady who wants to appear at her very best. Noddy waits in his car whilst the females are at the stall and Mr. Wobbly Man greets him as he passes by. Then Katie Kangaroo approaches and has a few words with him — she's a very jumpy person and amply demonstrates this by hopping right over a lamp-post on her way back to the Ark. Tessie and Miss Rabbit reappear and they squeeze in with Noddy and then it's off to buy ice-creams at Toy-Dog Town. The reason for the venue is that Miss Rabbit really loves riding in a car so a longer trip is desired although it could cost a little more but I think she'll get away with it because the ice-creams are her treat. There's a colourful picture of Noddy, Tessie, and Miss Rabbit riding along and there are music-notes above Noddy's head which signifies that the little man is singing one of his wonderful songs which he makes-up as he goes —
or on the back of breakfast food packets or the handles of
toothbrushes, and in the form of an egg-cup. He was loathed
by many adults — particularly librarians, and loved by many children.
(The Times Nov. 29th, 1968)
"Oh little Miss Rabbit"Tessie Bear, isn't he clever?"
And little Miss Bear
I really do think
They're a nice little pair ... on he goes and his creativity impresses Miss Rabbit to the extreme —
"Yes, very clever ... and kind too. He's quite the nicest person in Toy Village."
They arrive at Toy-Dog town and find a suitable shop where they sit and get stuck into enormous ice-creams. It's a really good idea to have their ices in Toy-Dog Town because, as Noddy explains,
"Dogs don't eat like us — they gulp! So if you ever want large ice-creams, go to Toy-Dog Town!"
They all jump at the noise then barks and shouts are heard and it's not difficult to guess what's happened. Outside in the road a toy dog has been struck by a bicycle and the rider is not sympathetic. He's a sailor doll and I trust he isn't the one who always tips Noddy generously after a ride in his taxi.
"Don't make such a fuss. You're not hurt. Silly dog! Look at my hat ... all bent. I've a good mind to smack you." After a few more derogatory remarks the sailor mounts his bike and rides off.
The poor dog has a damaged paw but help arrives in the form of three Samaritans. One of them bandages the paw with a nice clean handkerchief. The dog is very grateful and prances around on his three good legs and rubs up against Miss Rabbit whom he almost knocks over. Then he clouts Tessie Bear and Noddy with his waggy tail but basically he's a 'nice' dog according to Noddy — just awfully bouncy and jumpy. Bumpy? Now he's licked Noddy's hand so the little man feels in his pocket for a hanky — but it's gone! Where is it? He thinks that perhaps he left it in the ice-cream shop and once again, I wonder if Noddy's a little ... how could I put it ... a little ... something or other! Anyway, Tessie knows where the handkerchief is and naturally it's left where it is. They jump into the car and depart before the dog can bump into them again.
The passengers are dropped off and then Noddy calls on his great friend Big-Ears who is a very wise brownie. There's a picture of Noddy entering Big-Ears' toadstool house with his friend visible through the open window doing his washing. Nodd''s enlisted to help with the pegging-up and then it's time to tell Big-Ears about the dog —
That's Noddy speaking and the language used is due to the fact that he has a mouthful of pegs and, just then, the wind blows a curtain out of his hands which envelops him. As clever as he is, Noddy doesn't seem too good at pegging clothes on a line. He's almost swallowed a peg and fallen over in the mud so he feels for his hanky but he still can't find it. Where on earth ...? He becomes rather flustered because Big-Ears is getting a little angry at him for dirtying a curtain and wiping his face with a freshly washed duster so he feels the best thing to do is to jump into the car and make off — which he does. He'll tell Big Ears all about the dog when his friend's not so busy.
A couple of days later there's a re-uniting of man and beast — the dog makes an appearance at Noddy's house. Noddy's cleaning his car so he's a little busy to pass the time with the dog who has adopted him as a friend but he doesn't forget to be hostly and he offers the animal a piece of bread and butter which wasn't eaten at breakfast time. The dog swallows it with one big gulp which quite shocks his benefactor but, in a way, Noddy's still quite drawn to the bouncy creature.
Then the time comes for Noddy to start off in his taxi and search for some passengers so he tells the dog to go home and then he sets off with a tune to the delight of the car who loves hearing Noddy sing. The next thing we see Mr. Plod in the middle of the road with a very light-hearted Noddy driving round and round him singing a little tune tailored to the policeman himself! Mr. Plod is not happy about that especially when Gilbert Golly and Master Tubby Bear laugh loudly at the funny song so he reprimands them sternly and even threatens Gilbert with imprisonment.
Little Noddy gets plenty of passengers and makes a lot of money that day and then he sets off for home. Mrs. Tubby, his next door neighbour, tells him to look after his cash because there are goblins about who might steal it and Noddy assures her that he will put it safely away and then goes in for his tea. Halfway through the meal there's a scrabbling and barking at the door — yes, it's that dog again. Bouncing in, the creature leaps at Noddy and knocks him to the floor. The second time this happens, Noddy christens the dog 'Bumpy' and gives him a potted meat sandwich. That's not enough and the dog takes another then snaps at a piece of chocolate cake ... and another! Well! Noddy sends it to stand in the corner for a while then, when the dishes are being cleared away, the dog leaps up and pushes him over again but, surprisingly, Noddy still quite likes the affectionate creature — even though it's so bumpy.
When evening comes, the Bumpy Dog jumps into Noddy's bed whilst the little man's getting into his pyjamas and this earns it a smack and immediate ejection from the house during which, Noddy forgets to lock the door.
In the morning a terrible thing is discovered. The money that Noddy has worked so hard for is no longer there. Muddy footprints on the floor leading to the cupboard reveal that a goblin must have taken it. Crying loudly, Noddy rushes over to Tubby Bears' place and Mr. Tubby advises him to get the policeman in which he does, but little can be done except to confirm that a goblin from the Dark Wood has made off with the money and it could be buried anywhere.
Poor Noddy's in tears
Then Bumpy appears
He races in through the open door and jumps up at Mr. Plod whose hat falls on the dog's head. Then the dog rushes away from the angry policeman and into Mr. Tubby's garden where it sees that someone has been digging there recently ... A bone? Has a bone been buried there? The Bumpy Dog starts digging up poor Mr. Tubby's freshly sown seeds and there's pandemonium during which there are threats from Mr. Tubby Bear and Mr. Plod who's given up any idea of helping Noddy to get his money back ... " ... not till you get rid of that dog, anyway." Noddy's bumped over again by the dog and he lands in Mr. Tubby's patch of mint. Deciding that enough is enough he realises he'll have to get rid of the creature once and for all so he gets into his car with the dog and drives off. They come across Tessie Bear who joins them and she's very sympathetic to Noddy's plight. At the market a bone is purchased and then they drive to the Dark Wood — a place that probably brings up terrible memories because in Noddy's early days he was attacked and stripped naked amongst the trees there one night. However, it's daytime at present and the idea is to leave the Bumpy Dog with the bone, let him go and bury it, and then whilst he's doing that they can make off. The first part of it goes very well but when the dog starts digging a hole, a goblin appears and berates it. Goblin versus dog — a Bumpy Dog, who's awfully good at knocking people over and he proves it by downing the goblin who's nothing short of furious but Noddy reminds him that he doesn't own the woods and there's no reason why the Bumpy Dog can't dig there. You can only speculate as to what's found when the dog digs down a little further. Yes, this little rascal proves himself to be very useful indeed because not only does he come across something wonderful but he also captures a crook and the last chapter is one of celebration and explanations with cakes thrown in. Noddy, Tessie Bear, and the Bumpy Dog are lauded by everyone and Mr. Plod is very happy ... that is until the Bumpy Dog knocks him over but I'm sure he quickly regains his dignity. Big-Ears, who happens along, finally gets to hear about Noddy's new friend and is introduced and then the question is — who will take the dog in and look after it? Noddy considers it just a little too 'bumpy' and he doesn't want to spend his days sitting on the floor. Big-Ears can't take the dog in of course because he has Whiskers. Yes, he has whiskers all right but 'Whiskers' in this case is a cat so ' Who will take the Bumpy Dog into their home? That is something which needs careful consideration.
The inevitable song concludes this story and it finishes like this ...
"You're waggy and licky
And noisy and rough
But I love you, dear Bumpy
To familiarise oneself with some of the inhabitants of Toy-Village, those mentioned in this book are Mr. & Mrs. Tubby Bear and their son, Mr. & Mrs. Noah of the legendary Noah's Ark, Miss (Toy) Rabbit, Tessie Bear who is a very good friend of Noddy's, Mr. Wobbly Man, Katie Kangaroo, a Sailor doll (not 'The' Sailor doll), Big-Ears who is Noddy's best and oldest chum, Sally and Sam Skittle (mother and son),George Golly, Mr. Plod, Gilbert Golly, and Miss Fluffy Cat.
'Hostly' is definitely a word because I saw it in a book called The Mystery of Holly Lane which is by the same author and I'm sure she was an expert at proper English.
Noddy's up to his usual standard with poetry and song-composing and he still seems to have no rivals. The three Golliwogs came out with a spontaneous five line verse once in a 1957 Blyton magazine but it wasn't very good and I can't recall them ever having another attempt.