The Enid Blyton Society
I'll Tell You a Story
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Book Details...

First edition: 1942
Publisher: Macmillan
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Macmillan Readers Story Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

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List of Contents
Artwork
Review by Terry Gustafson

  1. The Peppermint Party
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  2. The Old Shipwreck Tree
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  3. Skippo's Prank
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  4. The Tadpole and the Duckling
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  5. The Meddlesome Toys
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  6. The Money-Box Pig
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  7. What Happened to a Smile
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  8. Sly the Cat and Smart the Dog
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  9. The Two Cocks
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  10. Mr. Miggle's Spectacles
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  11. The Very Cross Farmer
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  12. The Squirrel and the Mouse
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  13. Hunt the Thimble
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 1
  14. Billy the Goat
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  15. The Skittles and the Soldiers
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  16. The Twisty Gnome's Stockings
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  17. The Bold Golliwog
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  18. Grown-Up William
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  19. The Daring Clown
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2
  20. The Goblin in the Box
    Story: Enid Blyton Readers 2

Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Eileen A. Soper


Cloth boards of 1st edition
Could you find a more charming cover on an Enid Blyton book? Well, you could find one as charming because "I'll Tell You Another Story" has the same picture on it! Is that unique? It's wrap-around as well so we have a well-defined glimpse of a child's world cocooned from the terrible Goings-On at the time and by that I mean the World War that was causing havoc in our Green and Pleasant Land.

In this protected corner there is a little girl dressed in the way girls dressed in 1943 with floppy hat and frock that ties up at the back with a ribbon. The little boy is as bright and alert as Soper can make him and his teddy bear (he would always have a Teddy bear near at hand) is lying on the grass. The family dog snoozes happily with sharp nose near his little mistresses' foot to assure him that she is still there. It looks like a black spaniel so the dog could quite easily be a Soper personification of Bundle, Crackers, Loony, Lassie, or perhaps Laddie - there are plenty to choose from. A perky (and brave) little rabbit is poking his head around the tree as if to hear the story the girl is reading to her brother and in the background is an old thatched cottage near a stream where a small boat is moored. Colourful flowers adorn the homestead and birds soar around high in the air - the atmosphere is complete.

There are several of these kinds of books that contain a variety of short stories and in the Cave of Books they are labeled as Macmillan Readers Story Books. The pictures are two-coloured and they all seem to have been drawn by Eileen Soper so who can complain about that - just take another look at the cover layout.

The stories in this book number 20 and it's worth flitting through them so that the one or two people who cherish childhood memories of such characters as Twink and Topple, Mr. Miggle, Dame Waddle, and Mr. Hem, can hunt them down and be united with them once again.
Two small brownies who make absolutely delicious peppermint cakes, live under a lilac bush located outside a nursery. The brownies are known as Twink and Topple and one day they decide to give a party, having made so much money from selling their specialty. The toys that reside in the nursery are the invitees and they're all very excited about it but there's a problem. The teddy has lost one of his eyes and you know of course how irritating it would be to attend a "Do" with only one eye. Big Hunt for it! To no avail and the poor old bear is very unhappy because he doesn't look quite the ticket. Substitutes are searched for - a pin with a glass head, a silver thimble, a bead but they don't look quite right however at last something is found and although the bear looks a tiny bit odd with unmatched eyes, he's happy that he can attend the party and not look too out of place. What a wonderful party it is and the guests wend their weary way home each clutching a bag of peppermints. Peggy is the owner of the toys and the next morning she can't button up one of her shoes but don't you worry, she's an understanding little girl who will definitely keep "Mum" when she makes a discovery a little later on. She receives a bag of peppermints for her discreetness.

Mollie and John like the old oak tree in Bluebell Wood because when they're up amongst the branches they can imagine sailing away on a raft looking for an island after being shipwrecked. They'd like to land on one and find some treasure but don't we all? One day an incident that occurs now and again in Blyton stories, takes place the children looking down from their tree, spy a suspicious man carrying a sack over his shoulder. Then another joins him and the sack is left under a bush for the men to collect the next day. When children find treasure they generally aren't allowed to keep it because it belongs to someone else - but a reward can be handed out. Mollie and John end up sailing on the duck pond in their very own raft!

Skippo sells dancing spells. He lives near the royal palace and Princess "Goldilocks" (we're familiar with that name) is annoyed with the constant smell of frying onions that wafts into her room when the elf is cooking his favourite meal. The King sends Lord High-and-Mighty the Chamberlain to complain about it and he does so but exaggerates a little as to the effect it has on the royal household. Skippo is rather "abrupt" with the self-important Chamberlain who says he'll report the elf's rudeness to His Majesty! The outcome is that, through the rather unkind use of a spell, Skippo, with tears running down his face, is forced to vacate Fairyland - but Enid Blyton usually supplies a little addition to her stories and the tale ends with a picture of lambs gamboling around as they do in the spring. Gamboling or dancing same thing!

"The Tadpole and the Duckling" is about a tadpole that makes himself a bit of a nuisance, and how he and a duckling that also lives in the pond, grow into their respective adulthoods with rather an unhappy ending for the tadpole/frog.

Peter has a kite and a Nurse and a Daddy in that order and presumably a Mummy. The kite's not a very good one and Peter's sick of it because it won't fly properly so he chucks it into the toy cupboard. The kite is annoyed because it holds the opinion that Peter doesn't know how to fly a kite properly and when the conceited old teddy bear hears the complaint he volunteers to show just how a kite should be handled. The toy cat doesn't think it's a good idea but he's shouted down by the curly-haired doll and the elephant and the wooden soldier who feel sure that the teddy is fully competent to launch a kite and as it's a windy night what better time? The bear and his backers troop out carrying the kite and they assemble on a little hillock to unwind the string and to hang on valiantly because if the kite races up into the air it'll need more than one pair of hands to hold it. The wind blows and up goes the kite. It's not hard to imagine what happens because something unexpected often occurs when toys and a kite and a strong wind get together. Peter and his Daddy enter the nursery next morning and discover what was actually wrong with the kite - if only the toys had known. The theme of "toys and a kite" has been used before.

The Money-Box Pig that stands on the nursery mantelpiece is not considered a toy so he isn't invited to a party that the toys have planned. He's upset about this. "What am I then?" "I don't know but you're not a toy," the golliwog tells him. More hard words are passed between them and the pig is really upset when the golly insinuates that the children have no love for him at all. He resolves to run away so there's a little sorting out to do when the toys learn that he's serious about it. In the morning after the party is held, Mollie and Philip receive a surprise.

Some of Enid Blyton's characters are well off and some aren't. Benny isn't. He's never had an overcoat in his life and has never forgotten the one time when he actually had a penny to spend. He's always in good spirits though and what his mother would do without him she really doesn't know. Benny would love to give Lucy next door a present when Christmas arrives and Tom a birthday gift and there's an old blind man at the corner who could do with a halfpenny or two. His wise mother says that he doesn't have to give money. Why not a few smiles and a 'Good Morning" and perhaps he could help people with their parcels. Benny thinks this is a good idea and he tries smiling at Mr. Grim when he meets the man in the street but it seems wasted because Mr. Grim is not used to smiles and he's so surprised that someone would give him one that he forgets to smile back anyway. However looking at it in the light of Karmic Law, a smile is never wasted. Mr. Grim's cold heart has been warmed a little and from small beginnings come greater things because Benny's smile has caused him to think that there must be something nice about his cold exterior otherwise why would the boy be so pleasant towards him. After looking at himself in the mirror and having a little think, he receives the urge to do something about his appearance and after a bath and a visit to the hairdresser he visits Mr. Hem the tailor to order a nice new suit. Mr. Hem is delighted because business hasn't been too brisk. They have such a pleasant conversation whilst he's measuring Mr. Grim that the old fellow decides to order two suits instead of one. Well now, Mr. Hem's in the money so his thoughts go out to little nephew, Jack. "I'll send him seven shillings and sixpence for his birthday." I'm sure that Jack would welcome that very much because he has a problem his precious little pet puppy Spot needs a licence and his master can't afford to get him one. The story continues and shows how Benny's smile just goes on and on affecting peoples' lives until, as what often happens, the goodwill completes the circle by returning to the initiator. Quite remarkably, believe me or believe me not, it ends up saving Benny's life!

Sly the cat is cleverer than Smart the dog so with her trickery she manages to get the best of everything. One day, feeling rather hungry, they go trotting out together and come across some fish lying on a bank. Show a dog some food and he'll gobble it up before the resident cat can even begin to nibble at it so Sly will have to use her brains and quickly. A plan forms and she tells Smart that the fish could easily be bad and she doesn't want her friend to be poisoned no, she couldn't bear that. "Let me have a nibble first so I'll know if they're good or not." She does so and then screams that she's been poisoned. "Oh, I'm poisoned. Fetch a doctor, quick!" Smart dashes off to get one and Sly is left with the fish to sample at her leisure but it all turns to custard for the poor cat. No, she doesn't get poisoned because the fish are perfectly all right, but they belong to someone. As usual, the wheeler-dealer receives Rough Justice!

There are a couple of roosters called Doodle and Doo (I wonder why) and they live with twenty-two hens. Doodle and Doo are so alike that the only way you can distinguish them is by their manners. Doodle has none! To the contrary, Doo does have manners and unlike Doodle who grabs as much food for himself when Mistress Susan flings corn around, Doo shares what he gets with the hens, making sure they've all got some before he helps himself to a meal. As nasty as it sounds, George, the farmer wants one of them killed because "Master's coming to sup with us tonight." Which one will they have? I suppose it doesn't really matter but it does to Annie their little girl because she likes Doo far more than Doodle - with good reason. However, the two birds look so much alike that they're indistinguishable so what's going to happen? Will it be Doodle or will it be Doo?

Mister Miggle is a fat, greedy, mean old gnome according to the villagers but his opinion of himself is quite the reverse although no one ever confirms it. He'd love to know what people think about him but how can that be achieved? One day a pedlar calls upon him and displays various wares amongst which is a pair of spectacles that will reveal peoples' innermost thoughts. Now I think that's just what the doctor ordered and we don't need to concern ourselves as to why such a happy coincidence came about. Miggle is very pleased and pays over his three pieces of gold and then the next day, dressed in his new suit, he sallies forth to make his way down the street and learn how highly the villagers place him in their estimation. He tries the mind-reading specs on Dame Wimple, and Skip and Jump the two little boy pixies, and then on one of his friends Mr. Snoop. It's quite easy for us to guess the secret thoughts of the people he meets and that even extends to kind-hearted Mrs. Lemon whom he visits at her cottage. Poor old Miggle has a very disappointing time but it's not too late to change. Change does come but unfortunately when it arrives, Miggle's not able to confirm it. What a pity!

On Page 96 Sheila and David meet a cross old farmer when they're holidaying with their Auntie Susan in the country. Farmer Brown who owns land nearby where they are staying accuses them of leaving a field-gate open but he's wrong because these kids are good kids and wouldn't dream of doing that. There's a picture of the farmer in his check jacket, Tam o' Shanter, and sporting a beard and he's shaking his fist at the children. Those familiar with Eileen Soper's pictures will be able to visualize it almost exactly. Another time the farmer accuses Sheila and David of stealing apples from his orchard and he actually threatens them with physical violence so they'd better watch out. Auntie explains to the children that the farmer has had a rather trying time with the local kids who bring dogs along that chase the small lambs and the hens. They leave gates open and steal fruit so he thinks all children are nuisances. Auntie says that you should always help people when you can even if they're horrid to you. In theory that might seem a passable idea but to David and his sister, it doesn't quite gel. The next day brings a decisive moment for the kids because they're out walking and happen to glance over at a field belonging to the bad-tempered farmer. They observe a stray dog barking at one of the cows that steps back and falls into a muddy ditch up to its waist. The watching children realize the animal is in danger of breaking a leg or sinking further in. The dog flees and now it has to be decided whether to beard the lion in his den and tell him about the accident, or walk on as if nothing had happened. The story has a very happy ending.

Frisky the squirrel is too selfish to share his nuts with Brownie the wood-mouse despite the fact that he has plenty to spare. No, he's going to hide the rest away as squirrels do and Brownie decides to make him "sorry" for being so miserable. He follows the squirrel around to see where he inters the nuts and then he runs out and sticks twigs in the ground by all the hidey-holes so that he can remember their location. He won't take any nuts right now because Frisky is still around and might catch him so he'll wait until the squirrel goes for his long winter sleep. He does so and then when the time is opportune the little mouse runs around and steals all of Frisky's nuts and takes them to his own little home. Eventually of course, Frisky wakes up and, feeling hungry, he goes off to search out some of his nuts for a meal. Fat chance? Maybe not!

In "Hunt the Thimble" Miss Brown takes her four pupils outside to do their handwork because it's so hot. John, Mary, Lucy and Belinda are sitting together and then it happens ... Belinda loses her thimble. She crawls under a bush to find it and comes across two small pixies who happen to have found it and now one has put it on his head to use as a hat. It fits perfectly. Belinda is delighted to see this but then her face clouds over as the pixies disappear down a trap- door in the ground. Now we have an "Alice in Wonderland" experience and down we all go to experience a thrilling few minutes amongst the fairy-folk. There's a bit of an uproar when the little girl starts trying to explain her loss but she handles things very well by taking her cue from Miss Brown's technique of controlling the class.

How many goats aren't called "Billy?" This one is and he's tied to a post on the common but the rope breaks and away he trots to get into as much mischief as he can. Goats have a penchant for eating anything they come across and this one does but the trouble is that it's all stuff to which he's not entitled. I mean to say, if you'd just cooked six meat pies and placed them on the windowsill to cool, you'd expect them to be there when you came back. Billy eats his way around the place and gets chased off by various people who are only trying to protect what they possess and then he sees a rubbish heap. Surely no one will mind him getting stuck into that but he's out of luck. Even the rubbish heap has been spoken for by the pigs. A kind of lesson is introduced in this story Each and every one to his own place, or something like that.

In the next tale there's friction amongst some of Peggy and Anna's toys. The wooden soldiers don't think the skittles should share the cupboard because they're not considered to be proper toys just bits of wood! Well, the soldiers are also bits of wood BUT they have guns as well so the skittles aren't able to do much about it when the soldiers refuse them entry. One night Green-eyes the cat wanders into the nursery and unfortunately, Bruiny the little brown teddy has been left out on Peggy's chair and, despite jumping down and running for all he's worth towards the cupboard, he's not quick enough. The cat pounces and now who's going to save the poor bear? Well, obviously it should be the soldiers because they're geared for fighting aren't they but alas and alack they're all too scared of the cat. The toys push the soldiers to the front of the cupboard and urge them to rescue Bruiny but to no avail. The only one who gives any thought to a mad dash of rescue is the woolly lamb. Another of Enid Blyton's little twists supplies balance at the conclusion and everyone lives happily ever after well not quite everyone!

Just outside Diddle Village there lives a sly looking gnome called Twisty. He used to sell flowers from a barrow until it was discovered that he crept into the Prince of Dreamland's lovely garden and stole whatever he needed to market. He was caught and punished and flower selling is now off the menu but as one has to keep body and soul together the gnome utilizes a talent he has for knitting. "You should see him knit," Enid Blyton asks of us. He knits stockings at a blinding speed and uses four needles. His wife helps him and they produce enough stockings to fill a shop and then open up part of their house and sell them to the village folk who, despite not liking the Twisty Gnome, buy the goods because they're the best anywhere. They're all sold out by the end of the week because the prices aren't high the stockings wouldn't sell if they were any dearer, but eventually Twisty gets tired of all the work. He has an idea. It's an excellent one that is if you can live with a little double-dealing and Twisty plus wife can. The rest of the tale deals with the Terrible Two's dishonesty and then Mr. Grandy the head brownie, becomes involved and sets a trap. Other people featured are Mrs. Tubby, Dame Waddle (we've heard of her before), Mister Curly, Dame Twinkle, and Elf Tiptoe.

The Golliwog is a boastful fellow so the other toys don't like him and are glad there's only one of him. He thinks of himself as a step or three above the status of the commoners with whom he lives so he sets out one night to track down another of his ethnicity. None of the toys would venture out at night but the title of the story says it all and he's off and away only to find that there are Things Out There! A hedgehog means "prickles," and stepping on slippery worms means "falling flat on your face." It's chilly as well in the blackness and now an owl is flying around ready to grab what it can grab. A goat definitely grabs the poor golly so things aren't going too well for him and we can only hope that he learns his lesson before his very existence is threatened.

William, or Billy as his mother calls him, thinks of himself as very grown-up. "Don't call me Billy, mother dear, please call me William because Billy sounds silly" or "words to that effect." Mary the maid usually fetches the eggs from the farm but one day William thinks he'd like to get them himself. Mother thinks it might be a bit much for him because he's got his best suit on and the fields are muddy and wet. "Pshaw!" or "word to that effect." William is quite grown-up enough to go to the farm even in his best clothes, and that's an opinion held by William, but his mother is adamant. He mayn't visit the farm. William is very cross as you can imagine because the children will be coming out of school soon and he wants them to see him walking through the muddy fields all by himself to fetch the eggs from the farm. Incidentally, even Harry the big boy next door is not allowed to go through the fields in muddy weather. William broods and eventually a light bulb flashes. He'll go anyway and prove that he can be trusted to visit the farm when it's wet and return in pristine condition so he takes the egg-basket and sets off. He 's very, very careful as he goes and manages to reach the farm safely where the surprised farmer's wife tells him that he's really growing up seeing he came across the muddy fields all alone. William's very pleased with himself and everything's going nicely because, as he sets off with eighteen fresh eggs in the basket, he realizes that the children will be passing by when he climbs over the stile into the lane. Goody! He'll pretend not to notice them and they'll think he's so grand (William muses). If anyone thinks that William will come out of this tale with honours then that person hasn't read much Blyton. Possibly he might have had a successful outing but he hadn't made allowances for a troop of big cackling geese! Oh the Shame! Oh the Ignominy! William, the Grown-Up Boy, Mr. High and Mighty, really has his nose rubbed in it but it's not all bad news because he becomes a little more educated!

"The Daring Clown" features Peter and Biddy who have four uncles and six aunts to shower them with presents so the toy cupboard is full up with dolls, golliwogs, bears, rabbits, balls, skittles, cats, dogs, books, trains and heaps of other things. There's simply no room at all for the children's latest acquisitions a motor-car and a clockwork clown so those two have been placed outside the cupboard door. We all know that toys come alive once the house is quiet and naturally this lot emerges to view the newcomers. They're fascinated when the clown shows them how he can turn head over heels twelve times and then their interest turns to the car. Apparently the clown knows all about how it works because he watched Peter winding it that morning so he jumps in. The biggest golliwog says he shouldn't drive it because he may have an accident but the warning is brushed aside and the clown starts the automobile up and drives around the nursery. Unfortunately the nursery door is open and the clown speeds through and along the passage to the garden door, which has also been left open by Daddy! With the toys clinging to one another in fright, the car exits the house and sure enough there's a terrible smashing, crashing noise. The toys race down the passage and into the garden where they find that a dreadful accident has indeed taken place. The car had run straight into a large hedgehog and there's the clown on top of the prickly animal - shouting for all he's worth. Well, there are plenty of toys to rescue him and that's what they do. They drag him down, and the hedgehog scuttles away. Now they can see that the golliwog's warning was wise because the car is minus a wheel and the brake 's bent almost in two! The bear fetches a wheelbarrow and the two new toys are bundled in and wheeled back to the nursery despite the clown's cries of protestation that he feels silly riding in a barrow. I think the toys are going to have trouble with that particular individual if he stays on in the nursery.

The final story is entitled "The Goblin in the Box" which tells us about The Wise Man, Mister Hush-Hush and his little box that contains a goblin who does anything commanded of it. As soon as I saw the first picture with Mister Hush-Hush's lazy, untidy servant standing nearby I received an inkling as to what might happen - based on other Blyton stories. The servant is a brownie called Slip-Shod so he's obviously a "baddie" and he wishes (naturally) that he had a goblin to do his bidding as well. It's not very hard to imagine what happens when the master goes out one day and leaves Slip-Shod to get stuck into a little gardening. The servant has his dinner and then reflects on how much hates digging especially on a hot day, so what can he do? A lot of people could guess and he does it! Where's that little red box containing the goblin? It's in Hush-Hush's study and that's where Slip-Shod heads. He finds the box and imitating his master's deep voice as best he can, he commands the goblin to be present. Sure enough it shoots out but appears quite angry that Mister Hush-Hush is not giving the order. Slip-Shod tells him to start digging the garden at the back of the house and as the goblin has to do whatever is commanded of him, he sets to work. Slip-Shod doesn't like the look on his face but he doesn't care because he's about to have a little nap. Two hours later Slip-Shod wakes up and looks through the window. Now, if you search out a picture of a "sinkhole" you'll understand exactly what greets the brownie's eyes. Oh, my Holy Aunt! The house is now rocking on the edge of a gigantic space where the garden used to be and that goblin is still digging furiously. "Stop! Stop, I say!" That entreaty falls on deaf ears and it looks as if Slip-Shod is going to have some explaining to do because there's Hush-Hush arriving home. Flipping ahead four years, if you ever care to visit the Wise Man you might just catch a glimpse of a small brownie working away at the most boring and wearisome task ever. Well, after all ... the hole had to be filled in again didn't it?

This new ENID BLYTON book contains some of her best short stories, the kind that all children love. Tales of animals, fairies, toys and children - naughty and good. Enid Blyton's stories are now told all over the world in many different languages. This book and its companion "I'll Tell You Another Story" will be welcomed and loved. Both books are profusely illustrated in colour. That spiel is stated on the flyleaf and its pretty accurate although the word "profuse" has to be interpreted. If it's looked upon as "splendid abundance" then the word fits because there are plenty of pictures within but if it's taken as meaning "full colour" then it may be a little misleading because, as mentioned in the intro, the pictures inside are just "two colour." I doubt if anyone will complain about that, though.

Enid Blyton liked her black spaniels. Bundle was in "A Family at Red-Roofs." Crackers belonged to Peter and Janet in "The Secret Seven" books. Loony can be found in the series beginning with "The Rockingdown Mystery" that had as its stars Roger, Diana, their cousin Snubby and friend Barney. Lassie and Laddie were dogs once owned by Enid Blyton herself.

Kids in trees have often seen strange happenings from their vantage points. "The Old Shipwreck Tree" is an example where Mollie and John spy a suspicious man (try saying spy a suspicious man quickly five times!) and there are also Pete, Sam, and Anne of "The Troublesome Three" who observed secretive men from their own little tree-house. Detective John Hollins (he's really a boy but he acts like a detective) began his investigation into a mystery from a lofty position in a tree (Enid Blyton's Treasury), and even Anne of the Kirrin books witnessed trouble when she was straddling a branch in the eighth of the series. There are plenty of examples. .

A Chamberlain is someone in charge of a household ... a pretty posh one at that.

I think a boy's father or mother usually buys the dog licence (What Happened to a Smile) although in Jack's case, they simply couldn't afford it.

"Miggle" has been used more than once in Blyton stories. There was a housekeeper called Miss. Miggle in the Find-Outer books and another Miggle in "Tales after Tea" to name but two.

Farmer Brown (The Very Cross Farmer) has a farm hand called Joe.

Miss Brown (Hunt the Thimble) is an experienced teacher and in Enid Blyton's Book of the Year she ran another small school that contained two pupils also called John and Mary. Littlefeet was the pixie who adopted the thimble as a hat. How did Belinda climb down the hole in the ground? - I can vouch for the fact that she didn't have a rope around her waist as some EB characters often do. Answer: There were steps.

Despite Microsoft Word's indications, wood-mouse, motor-car, tree-house, and trap-door contain hyphens because EB/MacMillan/Sampson Low have also included them.

Mr. Twisty used four needles when he was knitting. I'd never heard of that but Enid Blyton explains: "He knitted stockings so he had to have four needles." Name me a red-blooded female who could resist being wooed by a man with the title - Prince of Dreamland!

I hope the worm that the golly stepped on wasn't crushed (The Bold Golliwog). I don't think it was because it spoke very crossly to the golliwog (as one would) after it had been stepped upon.

Curious as to why William (Grown-up William) wasn't at school with the other children that day. He obviously wasn't sick.

The theme in the final story dealing with the consequences of something stolen that gets a little (or a lot) out of hand is a familiar one. There's the story of "Biggitty and the Hen" (Happy Story Book) where Biggitty steals an egg that gives him no end of trouble. "The Humpy Goblin's Kettle" (EB Holiday Book) has Curly the pixie helping himself to something that causes disaster. From the same book, "The Magic Clock" tells of Jinky who steals a timepiece from Mother Goody and reaps the "rewards." "The Enchanted Pencil" (Ninth Holiday Book) reports on Nippy the Goblin's problem with an out-of-control pencil. Big-Toes commandeers some traces of blue magic and pays for his crime in "The Magic that wouldn't Stop" (Seventh Holiday Book). In "The Enchanted Spade" (Ten Minute Tales), Hum the brownie experiences a similar catastrophe to that which Slip-Shod brought upon himself and in "Sniff gets into Hot Water" (Rubbalong Tales) a Goblin "borrows" a scrubbing brush that's very useful until it runs out of legitimate things to scrub.

A charming book with charming pictures and, it has to be said again, a charming cover.