The Enid Blyton Society
The Adventures of Mr. Pink-Whistle
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Book Details...

First edition: 1941
Publisher: George Newnes
Illustrator: Dorothy M. Wheeler
Category: Mr. Pink-Whistle
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Short Story Books

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
List of Contents
Review by Terry Gustafson
Further Illustrations

  1. The Little Secret Man
    Story: Sunny Stories No.173 May 3, 1940
  2. Mr Pink-Whistle Puts Things Right
    Story: Sunny Stories No.174 May 10, 1940
  3. The Girl with the Broken Doll
    Story: Sunny Stories No.176 May 24, 1940
  4. A Marvellous Afternoon
    Story: Sunny Stories No.178 Jun 7, 1940
  5. The Dog Who Lost His Collars
    Story: Sunny Stories No.180 Jun 21, 1940
  6. A Surprise for Dame Gentle
    Story: Sunny Stories No.182 Jul 5, 1940
  7. The Two Ugly Creatures
    Story: Sunny Stories No.184 Jul 19, 1940
  8. The Forgotten Rabbits
    Story: Sunny Stories No.187 Aug 9, 1940
  9. Jimmy's Day in the Country
    Story: Sunny Stories No.189 Aug 23, 1940
  10. The Mean Little Boy
    Story: Sunny Stories No.207 Dec 27, 1940
  11. Wilfrid Has a Good Many Shocks
    Story: Sunny Stories No.208 Jan 3, 1941

Cover of the 1st edition illustrated by Dorothy M.Wheeler

Frontispiece from the 1st edition illustrated by Dorothy M. Wheeler

Title Page from the 1st edition
Pink-Whistle looks like a sharp-nosed Mr. Pickwick and he lives with one of his only real friends - a black cat called Sooty. The cover flap portrays Mr. Pink-Whistle as a " ... funny little man, who hates anything unfair or unkind. He goes about the world trying to put things right ... " and what could also be included is that he possesses magical powers because, although he looks considerably like us on the outside, he's also half brownie.

Mr. Pink-Whistle is rather a lonely individual because the brownies are wary of his half-human status, and people like us are a little reluctant to place him on our Xmas card list seeing he has somewhat alien attributes, namely pointed ears and green eyes. His urge to help people stands him in good stead though and it gives him an excuse to mingle and enjoy temporary friendships, especially with children because they're generally more accepting than adults.

The first words in the book demonstrate Mr. Pink-Whistle's outrage over the injustices of the world -

"It isn't fair! It isn't fair!"

The little man stamps about in a rage because he's learned that someone bought a new teapot for his wife and on his way home a boy on skates ran into him and broke it. There's also the little girl who ran to pick something up for a friend and was hit by a car. Incidents like these are a sad part of life but it would be nice if they could be balanced a little, thinks Mr. Pink-Whistle. A decision is made there and then: he's going to search for unlucky people and with the help of his powers he'll right as many wrongs as he possibly can. Packing a bag and saying "Goodbye" to Sooty, he sets off to fulfill his obligations.

Reaching the nearest town it doesn't take long for an opportunity to present itself. He wanders past Mrs. Spink's house and learns that her four children Teddy, Eliza, Bonny, and Harry are terribly excited about a coming school party but as the family has so little money, the kids will have to stay in bed whilst their only decent clothes are washed. Unfortunately Mrs. Spink's having one of those days and no matter how often she rubs and scrubs the various items of clothing, they won't stay spotless. The clothesline breaks and everything falls into the mud so another wash is called for and this time Mrs. Spinks lays everything on the grass to dry but some dogs choose to walk all over it with their dirty feet. She does a third wash and hangs the clothes up by the fireplace but unfortunately, a lump of soot dislodges in the chimney and coats them with blackness. Mr. Pink-Whistle in his invisible state decides it's time to 'Right his first Wrong' and who better to help than this woman with her four children? There would be several ways of putting things right and Mr. Pink-Whistle uses one of the most obvious. When he becomes seeable again the delighted children give him due thanks and after a hug from Bonny that makes him almost burst with delight, he wanders on looking for another opportunity to brighten up someone's life.

Jessie has seen a doll in the toyshop window and longs to possess such a beautiful toy. It's too expensive of course as all things are for a seven or eight year old but when Jessie is lying in bed and thinking of the doll's face with its brown eyes and long lashes, a maxim of sorts presents itself - "If you want a thing badly enough you can get it in the end somehow." She makes a decision to save every blankety-blank penny she can get for three whole months and finally the day arrives when she has the 8/6 (eight shillings and six pennies) needed to purchase the doll. As she walks to the shop the invisible Mr. Pink-Whistle sees her and decides to follow because she looks so excited, and shortly, he sees Jessie become the happiest girl in the world as she hands 8/6 to the shopkeeper and cradles her arms around "Rosemary Ann." Mr. Pink-Whistle also feels extremely happy when he sees the look of joy on Jessie's face. She places the doll in her pram and sets off with the little man following because, as always, he's drawn to anyone experiencing a pleasurable moment in his or her life - but Disaster raises its head. Several boys appear on the scene and there's a loud crash as their lively dog jumps up and knocks the pram over. Rosemary Ann falls out and a "crack" is heard as the doll's head breaks open. The boys are sorry and offer to punish the dog but Jessie, with tears trickling down her cheeks, won't hear of it so they run off and now the scene is set for Mr. Pink-Whistle to help another unfortunate person. He does so, and unlike Santa Claus who sneaks in to supply gifts and leaves without so much as a "Thank You," Mr. Pink-Whistle likes to reveal himself as friend and benefactor and why shouldn't he? We naturally want to thank someone who provides us with a little kindness.

Jackie Brown is looking forward to a conjuring show but he has an unfortunate accident when flying a kite with his neighbours - Dick and Eileen. The kite gets stuck on the greenhouse roof so Jackie volunteers to climb up and retrieve it because, later on in the day, Dick wants to go up into the hills with his Uncle Harry where the wind is stronger. "Bang, Crash!" The ladder falls and that puts paid to the conjuror because poor Jackie is laid up in bed with a cut to his head. Now, what kind of a payment is that for trying to do a good deed? Accident! Conjuror! Pink-Whistle! Magic! Put two and two together.

Jinky the dog keeps losing his collar through no fault of his own, yet he has to endure being punished for it. A nasty boy is the culprit - he puts a bone on the footpath and when Jinky runs up to gnaw at it, the boy grabs him, yanks off his collar, and disappears. Unfortunately Jinky can speak only doggy language so he can't let on about it to his mistress but Mr. Pink-Whistle who happens to pass by can understand and he interprets "Ooooo, Ooooo, Yelp, Yelp" as "Oh, how sad I am. Oh, how unfair everything is!" Unfair! Well that's certainly within Mr. Pink-Whistle's province so the little man gets to work.

Dame Gentle is in Mother Hubbard Mode when she goes to her cupboard because it's usually bare seeing she's a poor old soul. Mrs. Biddle offers her a job of scrubbing and Dame Gentle jumps at the chance thereby earning herself enough to purchase a few necessities and she's even able to buy some goodies for her birthday next week. She invites Mother Dilly to join her and when the day arrives she sets the table and then goes out to find a few flowers to brighten the place up. While she's away, Mr. Mean sneaks into the house and makes off with the cake Dame Gentle had bought, and her tin of cocoa, and he even steals the new blanket she'd purchased for herself. Mother Dilly on arriving, finds a very distraught woman bemoaning her loss so she rushes back to her own house to fetch tea and shortbread in order that Dame Gentle can still have some kind of a birthday treat. Mr. Pink-Whistle hears of the thievery when he runs into her and naturally the urge to put things right is all consuming.

A bad-tempered, blind man whom the children call nasty names is the subject of another quite touching tale that has, as always when Pink-Whistle's around, a happy ending.

In Chapter #8, Winnie and Morris are shown as negligent towards their rabbits and a lesson is applied to teach the children that pets are completely dependent on their owners for survival. Auntie Jane is very angry when Mr. Pink-Whistle starts righting this wrong because strange things begin happening and as the real instigator is unseen, she directs the blame towards Winnie and Morris.

Fifty children with their packed lunches and dinners board a bus for a day on the farm and when they arrive Miss White warns them they must be back at the designated spot by five o'clock for the return trip. Jimmy wanders off by himself and happens to meet up with Margery who's crying bitterly because some goats ate all her lunch while she was having forty winks in the sunshine. Jimmy's a kind boy and he says she can have his tea in place of her hijacked lunch and the girl is very grateful. The children who are scattered around various parts of the farm hear Miss White's bell at 4.30pm and make for the bus but Margery who's walking back with Jimmy, falls over and hurts her knee. This calls for the boy to wash the wound, tie his handkerchief round it, and even attempt to piggy-back her, thus slowing them down considerably. They miss the bus of course but an unexpected piece of good luck lessens the likelihood that things could become stickier than they already are.

One day a mean little boy called Wilfrid causes Janet to weep bucketsful of tears after he wrecks her bike. Mr. Pink-Whistle happens to appear on the scene and one look is enough to convince him that he must intervene, especially when he sees Wilfrid knock Kenneth's apple into the mud. The righting of this wrong causes considerable merriment amongst the other children - namely Tom, Lennie, Doris and Harry, but Wilfrid's naughtiness continues on into the next chapter and Mr. Pink-Whistle has to use his invisibility and even a "magic touch" when the evil boy pinches Alison and insists on behaving badly at home. Eventually "justice" wins the day.

... and that's what Mr. Pink-Whistle is all about!
There have been plenty of reprints - a fairly common occurrence with Blyton books, and the well-known EB artist, Dorothy Wheeler, has contributed plenty of pictures.

Mr. Pink-Whistle's popularity with youngsters could be assessed in light of the fact that he's a "protector." The children who suffer bullying, or for that matter any injustice, can feel victorious in their imaginations with Pink-Whistle near at hand ready to use his powers and send a bully flying for his or her life.

Chapter #1 is a reprint of the first Pink-Whistle story that appeared in Enid Blyton's Sunny Stories magazine back in mid-1940.

In Chapter #9 we meet Dame Little who is one of Mr. Pink-Whistle's friends.

The blurb that has Mr. Pink-Whistle going about the world may not necessarily be true. I think he confines himself more to the highways and byways of England but we can suppose, in the unlikely event that injustices became a little scarce in the Motherland, he could zoom off to some other country.

Jessie's doll would probably cost about 15 these days (2013). A wander through the local toyshop demonstrates just how unfair the world is and if Mr. Pink-Whistle is still around, perhaps he would be able to correct the situation. Racks and shelves and counters of delectable toys greet youngsters' eyes and the urge to own a dozen or so can be very intense. Even one might suffice if it's sufficiently big and beautiful. What a frustrating situation the child desires the toys, but has no money, whereas the parent has plenty of money but no interest in toys. Surely the balance needs adjusting.

The "Harry" in Chapter #10 is probably a different one from the "Harry" in Chapter #1 because the former has "golden curls" and I don't think there'd be two Harrys with golden curls in the same book, although it's open to speculation. The third "Harry" is a grown-up of course. Enid Blyton has used "Harry" in one or two of her other books ... in fact it could be three or four.

There's a band of children who do what Mr. Pink-Whistle does. They call themselves The Put-Em-Rights and EB has produced a book that tells us all about them.

The "Pink-Whistles" are a trio, plus a larger format album called "Mr. Pink-Whistle's Big Book." "The Mean Little Boy" (Chapter #10) is also in "Mr. Pink-Whistle Interferes," but with a few different pictures.

One would think that a character such as Sooty should get a little more exposure but surprisingly he doesn't in this particular book. However the sleek black cat is acknowledged to a greater extent in the others, and more so in the album.

For further information about Mr. Pink-Whistle there are some excellent articles in the Enid Blyton Society Journal that were available to the privileged fans who were subscribing when they appeared. The Spring 2006, and Spring/Summer 2009 editions might still be available if one cares to mount a search.

Mr. Blue Saxophone? Mr. Red Trumpet? Mr. Golden Oboe? Definitely not! Perhaps a case could be made for a Mr. Silver-Flute but in the end it turned out to be Mr. Pink-Whistle and very apt it seems although we can only wonder why Enid Blyton thought this title would be fitting for the half-man/half brownie. Perhaps it can be put down to her way of using names without necessarily reviewing the suitability factor although it seems that one of her daughters may have lent a hand with this one. "Pink-Whistle," despite its oddness, became accepted just as almost any name can become the norm so the minor controversy that ensued over the use of "Apple" as a girl's first name is not really justified. There's no reason why Applecannot become just as popular as Ann or Angela ... or Pink-Whistle for that matter and, after all, one can look upon a child as the Apple of one's eye. Mr. Pink-Whistle's even had a place of business named after him! These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.