The Enid Blyton Society
The Second Holiday Book
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Book Details...

First edition: 1947
Publisher: Sampson Low
Cover Art: Hilda Boswell
Illustrator: listed with stories
Category: Sampson Low Holiday Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

On This Page...

List of Contents
Review by Terry Gustafson

  1. The Naughty Little Blacksmith
    Illustrations: Sylvia I. Venus
    Story: Sunny Stories No.190 Aug 30, 1940
  2. The Angry Puppy
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.185 Jul 26, 1940
  3. Giggle and Hop Get Into Trouble
    Illustrations: Mary K. Lee
    Story: Sunny Stories No.183 Jul 12, 1940
  4. Peter's Good Turn
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Sunny Stories No.186 Aug 2, 1940
  5. The Doll in the Cushion
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.184 Jul 19, 1940
  6. The Fly-Away Cottage
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.196 Aug 1934
  7. The Tin Whistle
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.175 May 17, 1940
  8. The Golliwog Who Smoked
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.181 Jun 28, 1940
  9. The Girl with Whiskers
    Illustrations: R. Brown
    Story: Sunny Stories No.187 Aug 9, 1940
  10. The Cat Who Cut Her Claws
    Illustrations: R. Brown
    Story: Sunny Stories No.188 Aug 16, 1940
  11. The Astonishing Guy
    Illustrations: Grace Lodge
    Story: Sunny Stories No.199 Nov 1, 1940
  12. He Wouldn't Go To Sleep
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.198 Oct 25, 1940
  13. Polly's P's and Q's
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.175 May 17, 1940
  14. The Whistling Kettle
    Illustrations: Grace Lodge
    Story: Sunny Stories No.186 Aug 2, 1940
  15. The Big Glass Marble
    Illustrations: Betty Ladler
    Story: Sunny Stories No.188 Aug 16, 1940
  16. The Land of Nowhere
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.175 Oct 1933
  17. She Stamped Her Foot
    Illustrations: R. Brown
    Story: Sunny Stories No.197 Oct 18, 1940
  18. Christine's Kite
    Illustrations: Hilda McGavin
    Story: Sunny Stories No.169 Jan 26, 1940
  19. The Very Strange Pool
    Illustrations: Sylvia I. Venus
    Story: Sunny Stories No.195 Oct 4, 1940
  20. The Humpy Goblin's Kettle
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories for Little Folks No.187 Apr 1934
  21. The Christmas Tree Aeroplane
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.153 Dec 15, 1939
  22. Granny's Bad Apple
    Illustrations: W.E. Narroway
    Story: Sunny Stories No.162 Feb 16, 1940
  23. Connie's Curious Candle
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Sunny Stories No.194 Sep 27, 1940
  24. The Jumping Bean
    Illustrations: W.E. Narroway
    Story: Sunny Stories No.178 Jun 7, 1940
  25. Never Mind!
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Sunny Stories No.166 Mar 15, 1940
  26. Freddie Has a Job
    Illustrations: Sylvia I. Venus
    Story: Sunny Stories No.199 Nov 1, 1940
  27. The Magic Clock
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Sunny Stories No.169 Apr 5, 1940
  28. The Clever Servant
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Sunny Stories No.170 Apr 12, 1940
  29. The Sparrow Children
    Illustrations: Betty Ladler
    Story: Sunny Stories No.163 Feb 23, 1940

Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Hilda Boswell
There are a dozen of these compilations and, like similar collections, they are composed of short stories with plenty of pictures. A few puzzles are included as are one or two poems and the occasional project to while away the time in the nursery on a rainy day.

As they're all in much the same format, I've selected The Second Holiday Book (1947) seeing that the copy I found of The Enid Blyton Holiday Book is the 1958 reprint. Tony has painstakingly added the story titles of all the volumes to the EBS website so there's a good chance that anyone who is dying to find a particular tale from their boyhood or girlhood will come across it either in those lists or elsewhere in the remarkable Cave.

The Blacksmith story that starts The Second Holiday Book is about the pixies and gnomes who live in the village of Comfy. You can't settle down there unless you have some kind of a trade and can make yourself useful so when Tiggle arrives he leads the villagers to believe he is a blacksmith but he isn't! Bad Tiggle!

"The Angry Puppy" comes up against a horse, a cat, a goose, a fox and some ducks and learns that if you are bad-tempered all kinds of nasty things can happen. Pictures by Grace Lodge.

Giggle and Hop are naughty nuisances. They reside at a boarding school run by Dame Rap-Rap and they pass through a phase of sneaking out after hours and joining up with the frogs or the moths and other creatures of the night. These animals and insects don't like being intruded upon so they report the two pixies to the Dame but she doesn't suspect Giggle and Hop because they always look "so good and sweet." All is eventually revealed and their escapades are brought to a halt by an investigative method that Enid Blyton has used in several of her short stories and we find that the Dame is very true to her name.

"Peter's Good Turn" is next. Peter's a Boy Scout and as is his duty, he does good deed every day. Because of his dedication to the Scout rules he's still alive. It's possible that if he hadn't done his duty, he'd be dead!

Jeanie possesses a doll that squeaks when it's pressed so she calls it Squealie. The other toys are always pressing Squealie to hear her squeak and she becomes sick of it. No one would like their tummy squashed so hard all the time so Squealie hides away in various places but the toys keep finding her until she crawls inside a cushion on a chair. Next day there's a hilarious time for the toys when they observe the proceedings as Jeanie enters the nursery for her breakfast, accompanied by a rather fat nurse. "Whoopee Cushion" humour!

On page 32 Enid Blyton shows us how to find the height of your house or a tree or anything by using shadows caused by the sun. This could be a very useful bit of information to store up for the future.

"The Flyway Cottage" stars Harry and Sheila and there's also a small woman with green wings who makes an appearance she's none other than Mother Mickle-Muckle. Plenty of vintage Blyton in "Wishing Chair" vein because there's a trip to Topsy-Turvy land as well as encounters with a giant and a Tick-Tock Dwarf. Eileen Soper's talent is utilized in this twelve-page tale.

There's plenty of variety the next tale is about Leslie and his bright idea, and then we come to another similar-sized story featuring a golliwog who smoked a pipe. How would a toy obtain tobacco? Simple he gathers up all the cigarette butts from the ashtrays around the house and uses the contents. In the end it's not the tobacco that puts him off smoking but something he does with his new hobby.

Next there's a girl called Betty who has whiskers so that needs to be examined, and then we arrive at the tale of a rather vain cat called Smoky who cuts her claws off. "The Astonishing Guy" tells us about Ellen, Harry, Jack, George and Fanny who save up their money for Guy Fawkes Day and then have to foil a thief. Next is Leaper the frog who's caught by a dog and the following tale has been the subject of more than one enquiry posted on the Enid Blyton notice boards ... "I once read about a girl who had P's and Q's all over her. Can someone tell me where I can find this yarn?" If you don't possess this book but have a collection of Sunny Stories magazines you can try finding "Polly's P's and Q's" by searching through them or else you can wade through the scores of short stories that have been reprinted in various other Enid Blytons. Harry and Joan are next with the whistling kettle that attracts the attention of the toys in the nursery and gives Grace Lodge yet another opportunity to display her prowess, and then Benny's Big Glass Marble sets off on an adventurous journey and eventually leads us to a couple of colour plates by Noel Hopking.

"The Land of Nowhere" deserves its own entry and the story tells us about Denis and Susie and their beloved white rabbit which goes missing. There are sixteen pages of exciting adventure for the children during which they meet a Mr. Squiddle and a Mr. Spectacles and a mermaid. There's a trip to Golden Sands and the Island of Anywhere and there's a cloud railway that takes them over the spires of Fairyland. You get everything in this story a Princess and flying gnomes and even flying children because Denis and his sister don wings at one stage and at the end of the tale a question remains. Will we, or the children, ever learn the answer?

You can find out how to make a boomerang in this book and a magic trick is there for the taking. Matilda is one of those girls who stamps her foot when she's in a temper and we just know that she will learn a lesson of life because it's not nice to be a foot-stamper. She meets a woman with green-eyes so one can guess at what's going to happen. Christine is yet another of those young females who has a fault that needs correcting. She's selfish about her kite and Enid Blyton wouldn't tolerate those who won't share their possessions, so something has to be done about it.

Shiny-One the gnome and two pixies called Peep and Pry are in the next story and the latter two don't receive seven year's bad luck for breaking a mirror but they are still punished adequately. Then there's Mister Curly, a mean pixie who lives at Twisty Cottage in the village of Ho. He meets up with a Saucepan Man but not the one that most of us have heard about from the Faraway Tree books. This fellow is called the Humpy Goblin and his kettles cost sixpence each but Mister Curly isn't going to pay that amount for something he wants ... so why not grab one when the gnome is asleep. The plot is similar to a few other Blyton tales and Mr. Curly ends up having to face consequences.

In "The Christmas Tree Aeroplane," Alan, Eileen, John, Harry, Belinda, Kenneth and Fred are all invited to a party being given by the "lady at the Big House." That rather vague reference is typical of Enid Blyton but I'm sure it would be well understood by small children. It's Christmas so there's a tree and presents for all ... all except for little Paul. Somehow the lady must have left his name off the gift list and that's very sad indeed. Let's hope there will be a balancing factor. The next tale begins: "It was war-time and Denis had been sent away from the town, to live with his Granny in the country." This was something that happened to hundreds of children during that era and it was relevant at the time of printing because the book was on sale in 1947. There are a lot of apples in this story and a deceitful boy called Sammy.

"Connie's Curious Candle" is another of those tales that has been asked about by people who had read it when they were children. Well - it's in this book, and Eileen Soper, whose pictures are always appreciated, has supplied the illustrations. Soper's work always seem so well-balanced and millions of Blyton fans have become familiar with her depictions in the books that told us about Julian, Dick, Anne and George not to mention Timmy the dog.

"The Jumping Bean" has Spink the pixie in it and he causes mayhem until the tables are turned. The following story entitled "Never Mind" is illustrated by Eileen Soper and it's about Henry who becomes quite rich when his birthday arrives. Poor Henry - a goat makes him almost a pauper again and all the little boy can afford to buy is a box of chalks and a Sunny Stories magazine. That periodical plays a very big part in cancelling his bad luck and making him happy once again. On page 172 there's Freddie, Mr. Still and a bird-table ("Freddie has a Job") and next we meet Jinky and Mother Goody, and Dame Fanny and Peter Penny in "The Magic Clock."

Eileen Soper's work appears again to show us Wily the Pixie and Lord Brainy. The Lord requires a servant but not anyone will do he wants someone who's got his wits about him. By showing his merit, Wily proves himself to be just what the doctor ordered but, alas - with trickery. Will he get the job or will someone else be chosen? "The Sparrow Children" brings this book almost to a close and the story's naturally about sparrows but there's also a brownie who repeats what Enid Blyton has done several times and that's to show us the difference between boy sparrows and girl sparrows.

The very last page shows us how to make a flock of little flying robins.
The Scouts, as mentioned in "Peter's Good Turn," are an organization that teaches young boys and girls from all round the world to be proficient in field craft and other skills. It also encourages them to be patriotic citizens.

One of the attractions of the Enid Blyton stories which makes them popular with grown-ups is the various references that bring up an atmosphere of past times so in one of the stories (The Doll in the Cushion) a little girl has a fully uniformed nurse looking after her. The artist looks familiar so I'd take a bet it's the same one that illustrated A Book of Naughty Children Kathleen Gell.

Looking at the first couple of Holiday Books I found a little confusion reigning. I have Enid Blyton's Holiday Book with a c-1958 tag. Inside the cover it states The Enid Blyton Holiday Book. The first story is "The Tale of Bubble and Squeak." In the EB Society Cave of Books the first of the "Holiday" series is named as The Enid Blyton Holiday Book and "Bubble and Squeak" is the 20th story. Another book I located states on the wrapper The Enid Blyton Holiday Book. Underneath, on the cover, is Enid Blyton's Holiday Book. Inside the cover is printed The Enid Blyton Holiday Book. A little note tells us that the book contains a section of stories from "... the famous Second Holiday Book."

The above is simply put in to thoroughly confuse anyone who bothers to read it but it can all be explained by the fact that there were different editions with changed around contents and Tony of the EBS puts things into perspective as always with information from one of his detailed bibliographies -

The Holiday books are a bit confusing, they were effectively issued as Annuals, but when they got to number 12 Sampson Low decided it was time to start again, although Enid was keen to have The Thirteenth Holiday Book with new material. Printing costs had gone up and Sampson Low decided that the only way to keep them at the same price was to abridge them, the first one lost 128 pages!! I think the best way I can explain this is with entries from Part 2 of my bibliography:-

Sampson Low, Marston
The Enid Blyton Holiday Book (Holiday Book 1) (December 1946) 15/- (10 X 7) (288 pages)
Red cloth boards with title in black on spine and front with a wraparound dustwrapper
(ill. Sylvia I. Venus, Eileen A. Soper, E. Jeffrey, Kathleen M. Gell, W. E. Narroway, Phil Brown,
Norman Meredith, Mary Kendal Lee, Grace Lodge and others; dustwrapper by Hilda Boswell and
endpapers by Grace Lodge) (8 colour plates by Grace Lodge) (decorative endpapers printed in
dark red, illustrations printed in two colours, black and one of eight different colours)
(40 stories from Sunny Stories (39) and syndicated story (1), 1 poem, 1 play and non-fiction)
(note: Other colours were also used for the cloth boards. A new abridged edition with
160 pages was published in August 1958 @ 12/6)

Sampson Low, Marston
The Second Holiday Book (Holiday Book 2) (November 1947) 12/6 (10 X 7) (192 pages)
Yellow green cloth boards with brown linen spine title in gold on spine and front which also has
a vignette in gold with a wraparound dustwrapper (ill. Sylvia I. Venus, Mary Kendal Lee,
Eileen A. Soper, R. Brown, Grace Lodge, Betty Ladler, Hilda McGavin, W. E. Narroway and
others; dustwrapper and endpapers by Hilda Boswell) (8 colour plates by Grace Lodge (4) and
Noel Hopking (4)) (pictorial endpapers printed in red, illustrations printed in two colours, black
and one of eight different colours) (29 stories all from Sunny Stories and non-fiction)
(note: Other colours were also used for the cloth boards and linen spine. A new abridged
edition with 156 pages and 22 stories was published in August 1959 @ 12/6. The
dustwrapper for this edition was the same apart from a new title The Enid Blyton
Holiday Book, which was on a white cloud covering the original title.

As you can see, the first edition of The Enid Blyton Holiday Book (Holiday Book 1) has 288 pages. This, together with the larger dimensions, would have been enough to last the recipient of such a gift all through the school holidays at least.

Grace Lodge illustrations are included in most of the books and she has also drawn some of the colour plates. The artist Dorothy Hall, with whom I identified at a young age when I first began reading the "Bedside Books," has some of her work in several of the "Holiday Books" and that beloved illustrator Eileen Soper is well represented as is Hilda McGavin who is yet is another popular Blyton artist. Leo, who supplied pictures for The Troublesome Three has done a few for the The Ninth Holiday Book. Dorothy Wheeler, with whom we are familiar, does her bit, which includes a Josie, Click and Bun tale in the 10th book. A few other well-known artists that have contributed to the series are Sylvia Venus, Hilda Boswell, Marjorie Davies, and Yvonne Perrin. The pictures could be considered a little sparse on colour but the covers make up for that.

There are four double-sided colour plates in each book.

There's a gnome called "Smug" mentioned in the first story! I think Enid Blyton must have liked that word.

If you look at the long lists of Sunny Stories magazines on this site (Cave of Books) you can choose which 1947 one that you think Henry may have bought in the tale - "Never Mind."

There is a story that's destined to go down in history once Enid Blyton has been fully assimilated into the school curriculum with the children studying her work as assiduously as they do the writings of such immortals as Dickens, Lewis, or Bill Shakespeare. In the "near?" future, an examination may feature this question for the students: "What was the very first example of Blytonia read after the Millennium had dawned?" At about five minutes to midnight on December 31st, 2000 I sat down beside the Christmas tree and commenced reading because I wanted to be the first person to quote something from Blyton as the Millennium dawned. With a camera whirring away and the counter passing through - 23.57, 23.58, 23.59 ... the moment arrived and was duly immortalized! The location had to be conducive of course it was no use being in England where it all started because that country is not in a position to receive the first sunrise. The right date had to be worked out as well apparently the hundreds of millions of people all over the world who celebrated the Millennium on January 1st, 2000 were wrong and that's official! The boffins at Greenwich Observatory, guardians of the line of zero longitude, and its American counterpart, the United States Naval Observatory, were categorical the end of the second Millennium and the beginning of the third occurred on January 1st, 2001. All the requirements were thus satisfied excepting for one tiny little detail that can be discarded. According to the Royal Geographical Society, the very, very first light of the new Millennium actually descended on Pitt Island - a little rock somewhere in the South Western Pacific with a population of about fifty. No way could I believe that any of them were ______ enough to sit up till the Millennium dawned and read Enid Blyton to ensure that history was being enacted according to plan (You can put your own word in the space. Mine would be "enterprising" or perhaps "resourceful" - words beginning with "s" aren't allowed). I'm also happy to believe that no inhabitant of the Dong Valley and the Islands of Katchal and Caroline who laid dubious claims to a Millennium First Dawning would have been reciting from an EB book at the Witching moment. So, there it is for future scholars - and here's the answer to the question: -

The very first "Enid Blyton" to be read anywhere in the world after the Millennium had dawned was "The Land of Nowhere" which originally appeared in one of the old magazines (For Little Folk) and, like scores of the EB stories, was reprinted. It appears in The Second Holiday Book.