The Enid Blyton Society
The Teddy Bear's Party
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Book Details...

First edition: 1945
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Brockhampton Picture Books
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Short Story Series Books

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Artwork
Review by Terry Gustafson















Thirty-two pages in total - twenty-four of which contain Soper illustrations, and what more could one wish for? Naturally, there's a tale as well with a plot that's right up to the standard of those that fill the volumes described in the EBS Cave as the Hodder Story Books although this is a longer example and a "one-off."
Mary sleeps with him, every night because she loves him. His name is Bruiny and he goes "Ooooomph" when you press him in the tummy. Bruiny is a bear of course and he often sneaks out of Mary's bed to play with the toys in the nursery but they have become rather sick of his "Ooooomph" because he keeps making it all night long. He's also rather vain and when Mary gives him a ribbon to tie round his neck he thinks the image of himself in the mirror is so beautiful that it's worthy of mention to the fairy doll. He could have chosen a plainer individual though because the fairy doll happens to be the best looking toy in the whole nursery - and that's by agreement.

In reality, Bruiny's nose is too snubby, he's too fat, and everyone's sick of his oooomphing! After he's trodden on the clockwork mouse's tail twice the toys have had enough and show their displeasure by refusing to involve him in their activities, which makes the bear very sad. He asks the wise Old Monkey for advice and is told that, as his birthday's coming up soon, why not be very, very nice to the toys by having a lovely party and inviting them? What a good idea but the trouble is you need cash for that sort of thing and the bear's moneybox is empty. He thinks of a solution though, and one night when the toys are all in the cupboard resting, he raids the toy sweetshop but is caught by the proprietor who pops up from behind the counter.

What shame! What ignominy! The toys are called and they are shocked to see what Bruiny Bear has attempted even though he tries to justify his actions by telling them about the party he had planned for them. They don't believe him and he's looked upon as a storyteller and a robber. He still thinks that if only he can hold his party, everyone will love him so he visits the dolls' house to see if they've baked any cakes in their little stove. The dolls are out visiting the soldiers in the fort which means the bear is able to nip in unchallenged. Yes, there are some freshly baked cakes in the cupboard so he grabs the whole tin and walks out of the door - right into the dolls who have just got back from their visit.

The bear's really in disgrace now. He's been smacked and Sent to Coventry so advice is sought from the old Monkey again who seems to be a kind of Father Confessor, residing a little outside the general guidelines by which the toys live. Bruiny however, has become so angry by now that he brushes aside anything the Old Monkey has to say to him. Later on the toys come for advice as well and the Old Monkey gives them the same that he gave to the bear - perhaps they should be nice to their enemy. That's a tall order but the Old Monkey insists it'd be worthwhile because " ... it's bad to make ourselves into enemies when we can be friends." What about the toys giving the bear a birthday party next week? The idea is looked upon as a good one and besides; all the toys love a party. As it's to be a surprise there's a lot of whispering in corners and, of course, Bruiny receives the wrong impression.

"They're saying horrid things about me. I shall run away."

The toys continue with their plan. The sweetshop man is going to contribute and the dolls in the dolls' house will make some buns and a birthday cake and some jam tarts. The golliwog and the Old Monkey with the clockwork mouse's help, make some lemonade. Presents are also planned a blue button, and a brooch from a cracker, and a pair of the golliwog's old trousers with a sash supplied by the curly-haired doll. Old Monkey paints a beautiful card and in the meantime the bear becomes more and more puzzled as to the secret activity. He reflects a little as well and begins to understand how horrid he's been and finally comes to the conclusion that he really must depart because no one likes him any more. He decides to creep away on his birthday.

The big day arrives and Bruiny's none too happy because he's aware of the delicious smells coming from the doll's house and that the table is being set and the toys are putting on their best clothes so they're obviously having a party to which the bear is not invited. He puts on his hat and is just going out of the door when the Old Monkey calls to him

"Hi, Bruiny! Where are you going?"

The bear tells him that he's running away and he adds that he's sorry he was horrid.

"Goodbye!"

That's certainly not meant to be in the script and the Old Monkey yells out "Wait!" and then gives the bear his birthday card. The other toys come running up to tell Bruiny the news that he's invited to a birthday party.

"Many happy returns of the day."

Well, what a pleasant surprise and as the unexpected invitation percolates through the bear realizes that it's all for real and he begins to feel tremendously happy. A couple of his gifts are clothing so he dresses up and then accepts the other presents. One thing he doesn't do though when he looks into the mirror and sees himself looking so fine, is to make a remark about it - but the other toys say it for him.

Now it's party-time and out comes the food. What a banquet! The toys enjoy themselves enormously (the picture on the centre pages tells it all) and they each have a wish when taking their first bite of the birthday cake, as is the custom. After the food and drink there's games and much laughter when the golliwog who is the "blind man" in Blind Man's Buff catches the kitchen cat! There's Hunt the Thimble as well and guess where the fairy doll puts it?

Everyone's very happy and tired when the party finishes and they all climb into the toy cupboard to have a well-deserved sleep all except Bruiny of course who creeps back into Mary's bed. She wakes and asks him where he's been and then thinks she must be dreaming when the bear tells her. However, when she wakes in the morning it appears she wasn't because Bruiny still has his party clothes on and there we see them on the last page of all, looking very happy indeed.
The EBS Cave for those surfers who don't arrive in the orthodox way, is the book listing on the Enid Blyton Society website.

"Snubby" is a word despite the spell-check saying it's not! It's also the name of a fairly well known Enid Blyton character.

When a person is Sent to Coventry, no one will speak to him or her.

Until now I had never wondered what Many Happy Returns means. I hope that a birthday's happiness returns again and again or something like that.

It appears that the old Monkey's advice was sound. The toys were nice to Bruiny despite his behaviour and everything turned out fine.

The fairy doll placed the thimble on top of one of the doll's house chimneys. "Wasn't it a clever place?" remarks Enid Blyton.

The book measures about 135mm x 215mm.