The Enid Blyton Society
Tales After Supper
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Book Details...

First edition: 1949
Publisher: T. Werner Laurie
Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper
Category: Werner Laurie Story Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

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Reprint Covers
List of Contents
Review by Terry Gustafson

Reprints
  1. No Quarrelling Today!
    Story: Sunny Stories No.313 Oct 22, 1943
  2. The Little Stray Cat
    Story: Sunny Stories No.314 Nov 5, 1943
  3. The Determined Dustbin
    Story: Sunny Stories No.241 Aug 22, 1941
  4. Grumbling Grace
    Story: Sunny Stories No.247 Oct 3, 1941
  5. The Little Boy Who Played Alone
    Story: Sunny Stories No.251 Oct 31, 1941
  6. The Tiny Christmas Tree
    Story: Sunny Stories No.256 Dec 5, 1941
  7. The Big Bad Dog
    Story: Sunny Stories No.241 Aug 22, 1941
  8. Mollie's Motor-Car
    Story: Sunny Stories No.338 Oct 6, 1944
  9. Bad-Tempered Bessie
    Story: Sunny Stories No.327 May 3, 1944
  10. Jimmy's Cricket Bat
    Story: Sunny Stories No.328 May 19, 1944
  11. Old Mister Meanie
    Story: Sunny Stories No.329 Jun 2, 1944
  12. Too-Little Tommy
    Story: Sunny Stories No.330 Jun 16, 1944
  13. The Surprising Goldfish
    Story: Sunny Stories No.331 Jun 30, 1944
  14. Oh! What a Big Story
    Story: Sunny Stories No.331 Jun 30, 1944
  15. Billy-Bob Has an Adventure
    Story: Sunny Stories No.232 Jun 20, 1941
  16. Mister Twisty's Cough-Sweets
    Story: Sunny Stories No.241 Aug 22, 1941
  17. Chinky and the Poppy
    Story: Sunny Stories No.309 Aug 27, 1943
  18. The Clockwork Mouse in Trouble
    Story: Sunny Stories No.325 Apr 7, 1944
This is a book that was opened up many times when we very young because it contains a hotchpotch of charming stories that typify the Blyton Method i.e. the naughty child receiving a lesson or the good child who earns a reward. Included is a forgetful girl who jumps to conclusions and you should never do that in an EB tale. Nursery toys have their Ups and Downs, pets are featured, trees take on their own identities, and even a dustbin experiences what it's like to be alive. Billy-Bob, whom most of us would know, is in there together with his equally famous sister where they have a little adventure of their own. There's only one story that prim and proper persons might want to avoid ... they can shut their eyes and turn the pages very quickly to reach the next tale thus avoiding any embarrassment that might ensue from seeing Chinky with no clothes on! But, you never know ... the little elf might be quite respectably dressed in later editions of the book.
1. Ned and Alice are always fighting and their aggressive urges are so entrenched that one day when they are given a test, the reader may disbelieve very strongly that the children can pass it. The Test: No quarrelling or knocking each other about for one day. The Reward: Two beautiful toys. Now, sit back and "listen" to the dialogue as the tension builds up between them.

2. "The Little Stray Cat" needs a home. Bob wants to give him one but Ma says "No!" (as Ma's usually do). The cat lives nearby though, in an enormous ash tree outside Bob's house and one very windy night the tree starts swaying madly as the gale hits it repeatedly. Bob and his mother are in their respective beds oblivious to the fact that the great ash might crash down on to the roof. It will of course because excitement is what Blyton tales are all about, but what about the sleeping occupants?

3. Mrs. Snoodle (yes, that's really her name) possesses what most of us have in the back yard a dustbin, and she feeds it regularly. At least that's what the dustbin reckons each time his mistress takes off the lid and "feeds" in potato peelings, cabbage stalks and other unwanted stuff. The bin's sick of just sitting in one place though. It wants to "see the world" and when an unexpected incident occurs it's able to at least go through the motions. During the period of its mobility, the dustbin has a few small adventures that culminate with a rather bigger one that earns praise and then, the story of the Determined Dustbin comes to an end.

4. There are lots of things you mustn't do in an Enid Blyton story and "Grumbling" is one. EB asks us if we know anyone who grumbles and then says that she knows plenty. Grace is the main character in this tale because she's the grumbler. Aunt Joan thinks her niece should be cured because if it continues she'll grumble at her husband and children when the time comes, and no one will like her. Grace's mother agrees so she works out a plan and it's high time because today there've already been sixteen grumbles (mum's counting). Two friends of Grace's (Freda and Jane) are mentioned in passing and then shortly afterwards, Mother's "Plan" swings into action. It consists of taking one item from Grace's bedroom every time she starts grumbling so, does Grace stop her grumbling? Well ... it's a toss-up as to whether the girl will be able to sleep comfortably tonight.

5. Alec's a shy boy and always plays alone. He doesn't want to invite someone like Johnny over to join him because Johnny would probably "take over" as it were and if they played policeman-and-burglar, Alec feels sure he'd end up as the burglar. There is one kind of person that Alec would like to play with though and that's a fairy or a pixie because they're not rough. They wouldn't shout in his ear or push him over so with that in mind, Alec's always on the look out for such a creature but there's no doubt about it they're scarce. One very windy day he takes out his kite and launches it into the air but the string breaks and the kite disappears. Alec's nearly eight so it would be babyish of him to cry but it's hard not to when you lose such a beautiful plaything. Now, if there were fairies or pixies around, he's sure they could rescue his pride and joy but that only happens in stories he surmises, however ... why not try just this once? He yells out into the wind, "Ho there, Little Folk! My kite is gone. Please bring it back!" Well of course it has to happen doesn't it? The little boy can't believe his eyes when he spies someone walking through the trees at the bottom of the garden and carrying his kite! The figure comes nearer and a cute little fairy complete with silver crown, frilly frock, and wings confronts the astonished boy! How can this be? There's happiness and disappointment, and then more happiness before this story ends.

6. The Tiny Christmas Tree has a problem. A Christmas tree's ultimate ambition is, very understandably, to be bought and then placed in a family home to personify the glamour and excitement of the Season. Somewhere in the Christmas tree charter it must be written - "The Bigger, The Better" because the trees waiting to be claimed seem dead set on that notion when talking amongst themselves. They're all confident they'll be sold and end up "dressed in silvery frost, glittering ornaments, and shining candles." One tree with a straight spike at the top is sure that a fairy doll will be placed upon his crown and the biggest tree of all grandly remarks that the kids will "clap their hands and shout for joy" when they see him. The tiniest tree watches as his friends disappear one by one to be placed in various homes for the Yuletide period and there seems no hope at all for him until suddenly a little boy and a girl come running up. Saved by the Bell? Well, yes but the Tiny Christmas Tree has no idea what's in store for him

7. Lucy's kitten is called Cuddle and you can have a guess as to why because Enid Blyton asks us to. Cuddle is black with a white "shirt front" that she keeps very clean; in fact Lucy almost believes the kitten sends it to the laundry. Lucy's mother is getting cross with little Cuddle however because the kitten is so naughty ... the flowers have been clawed out of the vases, a milk jug has been knocked over, a lamp has been broken, and the fire irons have been sent clattering down when Cuddle tried to retrieve a ball from the fireplace. I suppose we could blame the lamp breakage on the fly that Cuddle was chasing because if the fly hadn't been buzzing around, then Cuddle wouldn't have chased it and run into the lamp. Would that excuse hold up? Mummy's now angry but Lucy reminds her that Cuddle is not as bad as the big dog next door. That's quite true. Daniel enters the garden by leaping over one part of the fence that must be a bit lower than the rest and he's almost as big as Lucy herself so he's capable of causing more damage than a kitten. Damage such as trampling all over the michaelmas daisies and gobbling up any meat or fish or cakes that anyone has inadvertently left out. "Shoo, Daniel, shoo!" That's Lucy's exasperated mother and Daniel shoos back over the fence. Now it's Cuddle's turn for a little mischief so she comes out from behind a chair and spies a bowl with a goldfish up on the bookcase. Being as inquisitive as any kitten would be, Cuddle climbs up to it and then it's Calamity Time. She accidentally knocks the bowl over and next moment the poor goldfish is wriggling and gasping on the floor where his watery home has fallen. Mummy and Lucy rush in and sort that out but Cuddle hasn't finished her bout of mischief and next moment she's trying to climb the chimney. Up she goes and then down she falls covered in soot with her white shirt transformed into a black one! She jumps on to the sofa in order to wash herself and when Mummy enters she takes one look at the state of the sofa and its cushions and announces, "It's Gotta Go!" or words to that effect. Lucy is distraught but despite her entreaties, Mummy is firm. The EB Fans knows of course that something has to happen in order that the life to which Cuddle is accustomed is saved in perpetuity but what could possibly bring on a change of mind? Something does happen and little Cuddle triumphs thanks to The Big Bad Dog!

8. This story involves a "woman driver," if Mollie could be classed as one because she handles an excellent little car, which is very suitable for her sex seeing it has no motor just a couple of pedals that work the wheels. The other children would dearly like a ride in it but Molly's a selfish little girl and despite the other's sharing their sweets and allowing her to play with their marbles, she keeps the car strictly for her own use. One day she drives to the sweet shop, parks outside, and goes in to purchase a bar of chocolate. Coming out again she experiences a shock! No car! She calls out to some nearby children asking if any of them have taken it - in fact she starts accusing them of stealing the car because she's so angry. The kids deny it of course and the loud claims and counter claims are heard by Jim the village policeman who happens to be within hearing range. He approaches the group and Molly tells him that she "knows" one of the children have taken her precious car. Out comes the black notebook and after taking all the kids' names and addresses so that he can call round and make enquiries, the policeman strides off. The rest of the story tells us what happens when the motorcar is located and we also learn the current state of relations between Mollie and the other children.

9. Bessie supplies excellent material for a story that kids are sure to enjoy because it deals with Bad Temper and that's something most of us have experienced. It's all very well to laugh at children's inability to control themselves when fighting over a favoured toy or arguing over who's going to be allowed the last piece of cake but Grown-Ups, who do the laughing, also lose their tempers. They fight over bigger things however such as road accidents or claims to land. Bessie would be about seven and she's probably of reasonably high-borne parentage because a well-paid nurse takes her out for walks and makes beautiful frocks for the girl besides doing all the things a nurse has to do. Bessie has some lovely toys as well including a stack of dolls and even more, her idyllic lifestyle is garnished by the fact that no one is allowed to smack her even if she flies into a rage and starts biting and kicking and pinching. Now, would she get on all right with another person who displays similar traits of violence? Well, the big boy in the house next door seems to be that way inclined and one day ... they meet!

10. Jimmy's a "little" boy in the sense that he's smaller than the other kids but he's always eager to join in when they play cricket because he loves the game. One day, instead of being relegated to the back of the field to catch balls hit by the other lads Harry, in a moment of altruism, lets him have a go at batting. Jimmy doesn't own a bat so Harry, who's the acknowledged "leader of the pack," lets the little boy use his although it's really a little big for Jimmy to manage but he's determined to do his best. Jimmy does do his best because he smacks the ball each time it rolls down the pitch and even manages to hit it right to the edge of the field at least once. Harry is obviously impressed by Jimmy's performance because that afternoon he allows him to have a go at bowling. Is it just a lucky day for Jimmy or is he really an Ace. It's probably the latter, because he actually bowls two boys out by hitting the stumps right in the middle. Harry's now impressed but he advises Jimmy to get a bat of his own one that's right for his size because, after all, he's just a shrimp. Jimmy asks his mother if he could have one but those things cost money and, as we've all experienced, Grown-Ups are usually short of cash when a child desperately needs something. The boy needs to save up and how boring that's going to be! Jimmy 's determined though and he sets out on his task by not spending a penny on himself for days and days. He runs errands for people and adds the extra pennies and ha'pennies to his moneybox with a vision in mind that of a beautiful bat in the toyshop window just his size. Now he has the money and now he's about to buy it BUT ... a disaster occurs. All the boy's precious money has to be paid over to Mr. Johnson who lives next door so what an utter waste of all that scrimping and saving. The reason for loss of funds is that he broke the old codger's cucumber frame when a ball accidentally slipped from his hand and sailed over the fence. Mr. Johnson's a good man but he says the damage has to be paid for which is only fair and so poor Jimmy's money disappears and he has a good cry in bed that evening. It's back to square one now but he keeps on practicing with the others and Harry' reckons Jimmy could be in the team when they play against the lads in the next village but he needs his own bat. Doesn't Jimmy know it but how can he get one? His Father's dead and his Mother has no money to spare if only he hadn't broken that glass! He's saving up again but after earning about 1.6d, the supply of higher denomination currency dries up and he's back to pennies and ha'pennies again. There's to be a special cricket practice this Saturday and Jimmy wants to attend but when the day arrives his mother says he must visit Aunt Jane and help her sort through some stuff because she's moving next week. Jimmy's a sorry little lad but he runs off to his aunt's house and you may wonder how the story could have a happy ending however, if Blyton is in your blood, there's a strong chance you'll be able to look into the crystal ball.

11. Mr. Meanie is a rich man who lives in a big house with fourteen servants to look after him and he usually wears a tall and shiny top hat. He owns all the nearby cottages and makes jolly sure he gets a goodly amount of rent from the gnomes and pixies who occupy them. Little Silver-wings is one such tenant and she's been ill with plenty of doctor's bills to pay so she hasn't been able to earn any money to pay the rent. She visits her landlord and asks for a little leniency regarding payment. A futile request? Yes! Mr. Meanie is quite outraged and certainly won't allow her a couple of weeks to earn the needed cash but he "very kindly" lets her hold off payment until tomorrow. Of course, if she can't cough up the cash by then, out she goes! Silver-wings sobs. She doesn't want to leave her dear little garden and her pigeons and the cherry tree that looks as if it's going to have so many cherries this year. She sets off for home still crying bitterly and on the way meets Light-foot. When the pixie learns of his friend's plight he's all for chasing after Mr. Meanie and begging him to allow Silver-wings at least a week's grace to pay the debt. In the meantime, he'll draw a few pictures and sell them to obtain some money for her and he can do that because he's very clever with pencil and brush. Off he goes to confront Mr. Meanie but you might as well try to get blood from a stone when dealing with that character "Silver-wings must pay tomorrow or else!" A gust of wind and a bright idea on Light-foot's part makes for a very happy conclusion to this tale.

12. It appears, in stories at least, that boys are supposed to be big and strong so there's not much room for the little fella and Tommy is one of that ilk. He looks about the same size as Jimmy (of cricket bat fame) who is eight but Tommy could be one of those very slight kids who are slow in developing. Anyway, he's much smaller than the other kids in his street and they don't want to play with him at all because they all think he'd drop the ball too often or become frightened when a game of Red Indians got rough. They end up calling him Too-Little Tommy, which is not very nice, but kids are sometimes a little cruel without realizing it. Tommy is actually a fast runner and quite a brave little chap although he does feel like crying a little when he sees the local lads riding Jim's bicycle up and down the road. He runs off home and there's a picture of him sitting in the garden shed with his fingers in his ears to blot out the sounds of the other boys enjoying themselves. Someone's poking his head round the door and observing Tommy. It's none other than Uncle William who's paying a visit and he's very surprised to see his nephew so inclined. A nice friendly and understanding chat ensues and it' s followed by an idea that Uncle formulates. A plan that allows Too-Little Tommy to literally "turn the tables" on Harry, Lennie, Kenneth, and the others and it really and truly works. Uncle William really hits the jackpot on this one!

13. The Surprising Goldfish certainly surprises Ronnie and Sue one day. In the nursery, Finny swims round and round in his bowl and is on good terms with all the toys. The golliwog asks him to come out and play but Finny explains, in his "bubbly" voice, that he'd die if he did because he can breathe only in water. There's interaction though because the golly sometimes dangles his black feet in the bowl so that Finny can pretend to nibble them, and the plastic duck with a lift up from the teddy bear, has also kept Finny company at times by swimming around on the water's surface. Fluffy the cat is a separate entity though. One day he enters to explore the nursery and suddenly catches sight of the goldfish moving around in his bowl on top of the bookcase. Fluffy wants to find out what the orange blob is so he jumps up, approaches the bowl, and dips his paw into the water. Not nice! He takes it out and then hearing a noise, leaps down and disappears. Finny tells the golliwog that he didn't like the big black creature and asks him not to let it come again. The golliwog, or any of the toys for that matter, would be hard pressed to stop the cat from coming into the nursery because Fluffy's big ... as well as alive! And the Cat Came Back! Yes, Fluffy remembers his discovery and once again pads into the nursery to solve the Mystery Of The Orange Blob. He jumps up to the bowl and this time puts his paw right into the water. Despite Finny backing away as far as he can, the clawed paw lifts him out and then, just as the cat pounces on his prey, the bowl tips over and crashes to the floor. Fortunately, rather than smashing into pieces, it lands on its side but all the water pours out. Finny is bumped out and there he is jumping around and gasping for air. The cat flees. How can poor Finny be saved? The same plot has been used in at least one other story so a lot of readers will know what happens but to reveal it here wouldn't be quite the done thing as many of the more popular short tales are sometimes reprinted.

14. Another familiar theme is catered to in "Oh! What a Big Story" and it's about a pixie called Quick-Eyes who's a very untruthful fellow. His mother often tells him that one lie can lead to another and the time may come when he tells a story that causes him to tell many more. Quick-Eyes doesn't believe her but we know he's wrong and that she's right ... and one day it all happens exactly as his mother had predicted. Quick-Eyes is not allowed to play with his ball in the sitting room in case something is knocked over but sure enough he's there right now practicing catches. Over on the bookcase is a tall blue vase just waiting for something to happen ... and it does. The ball strikes and the precious item breaks into twenty pieces. Mother dashes in and Quick-Eyes, with his survival in the balance, tells an instant fib - something he's very practiced at. "No I didn't do it, Tibbles was the culprit. She came in the window, jumped on the book-case and over went the vase!" Well, his furious mother orders him to fetch Tibbles so that she can be punished but Quick-Eyes can't bear the thought of the cat being smacked due to his own naughtiness so another lie has to be told. He pretends to look for her and then comes back with his report. "The cat was so afraid that she jumped down the well!" I can see where this is heading. Quick-Eyes' mama is distraught and sends her son off to get Mister Flap with his ladder so that he can rescue poor Tibbles. Quick-Eyes is becoming more and more scared as the drama builds up and he stares at his mother in consternation. "Will you go, Quick-Eyes ... do you want Tibbles to drown?" The pixie dashes off to Mister Flap's place but doesn't go in ... he just stands outside the door a minute or two and then returns to tell his mother that Mister Flap has lent the ladder to Dame Slow-One. Things are going from Bad to Worse and the story continues in much the same vein. Father Grey-Head is mentioned next and ultimately, it's "Sorting Out" time!

15. Billy-Bob and his sister Belinda, are rather well known to the Enid Blyton reader of old because they've featured in several short stories as well as having their own book. In this adventure their mother gives them permission to go on a bus trip all by themselves provided Billy-Bob takes good care of his sister. They want to pick bluebells in the woods and as Billy-Bob is getting to be quite big now, Mother thinks it should be all right so the following morning she packs up a picnic lunch for them both. At ten o'clock the bus arrives and the children board it. Billy-Bob feels quite important as he pays four pennies over to the conductor who tells him that he's really growing up now and Billy-Bob agrees. After rattling through the various lanes the bus comes to a stop where the children alight and prepare to enter the woods. They have to make sure they're back in time to catch the three o'clock bus because it's the last one of the day so after Billy-Bob has checked the time on his watch they set off to find a little stream. Do they have a lovely time? The answer is 'Yes.' They paddle in the cool water and sail "boats" made of bits of wood, and watch a moor-hen with eleven babies swimming along. They enjoy a marvelous lunch because their mum has packed sandwiches, cake, apples, and even a bottle of milk with a cup. Belinda voices a familiar comment, "I wish I knew why sandwiches and cake taste so different out of doors!" (Do they?) Billy-Bob offers a solution to Belinda's question of old. "It's because we are so hungry." (Sounds reasonable) It's now time to pick big bunches of bluebells for Mother and Auntie Sue and old Mrs. Lacy, so they set to work amongst the "thousands of shimmering blue flowers" and then after a short rest, it's time to head for home. To his horror Billy-Bob finds that his watch has stopped so they may have overspent their time. Panic! After a mad dash through the woods they emerge to see the bus rumbling away in the distance ... just missed it! Belinda begins to cry but Billy-Bob, taking a no-nonsense approach, tells her they'll just have to try walking home. He takes her hand and off they go but after a mile or two Belinda is exhausted and she sits down in the lane looking quite white. Billy-Bob now becomes a little frightened as he realizes things are looking a bit grim.

16. Mister Twisty's a Quack! He's manufacturing some cough sweets from Goodness Knows What plus some sugar with thought in mind that as long as the finished product has a sweet taste, who cares what other rubbish has been mixed up in the bowl! When Twisty has finished his work, he bags the sweets up and now they're ready to be sold to an unsuspecting public. Off to the market he goes and, standing in a good place with the tray of sweets hanging from his shoulders, he starts yelling out in a very hoarse voice. Is that right - a vendor of cough sweets with a hoarse voice? Yes ... remember his name's Mr. Twisty. He's coughing as well and even sneezing as he shouts his wares until a small crowd has appeared around him. A few of the onlookers yell out, "Hey! Why don't you try the wonderful cough sweets on yourself?" What a good idea! They keep egging him on until finally, when the crowd has grown larger, he actually undoes a bag of his sweets, extracts one, chews it up and swallows it down. Does it work? You bet, and the crowd is duly impressed. This is how Mr. Twisty makes his money but ... not for long!

17. How can one be concerned about Chinky's lack of clothing when Eileen Soper is the artist for - "Chinky and the Poppy?" Chinky's a very tiny elf ... so tiny that she's able to ride a butterfly and sit in the golden centre of a daisy. One day while having a conversation with a fly, she warns it to steer clear of a nearby frog. The fly immediately takes off into the air just as the frog's sticky tongue shoots out to catch it and seeing that a potential snack has disappeared, the amphibious hunter turns its attention on Chinky because, when you think about it, a tiny elf would make more of a meal than a fly. Chinky flees with the frog in hot pursuit and then, just when it has almost caught up with her, a tall red poppy tells her to jump up so that she can hide amongst its petals. Chinky does so but unfortunately the frog observes what has taken place and hops up to shake the poppy violently, trying to dislodge the elf. He succeeds but ... a transformation has taken place due to the poppy's biological make-up and it definitely affects the outcome of this anecdote.

18. The final story is "The Clockwork Mouse in Trouble." Billy's nursery contains many toys ... dolls, engines, bricks, bears, animals, and there's also a mouse that can be animated by using the key in its side. One day, a family of real mice takes residence behind the nursery wall and at night they come out to hunt for any crumbs that Billy may have dropped on the floor during the day. The clockwork mouse becomes friends with them of course and he berates the big dolls about the fear they display of the little creatures. Oftentimes in stories, females are portrayed as being frightened of mice but in this world of toys, the dolls only think it's the right attitude because they'd once seen Nurse jump out of her chair and squeal loudly when she saw one. Angelina, the biggest doll is annoyed at being told off by the clockwork mouse and retorts that she and the others will chase the visitors out of the nursery whenever they come in ... and that's exactly what they do! Angelina even gets the golliwog to stand by their hole with a watering can to sprinkle them when they appear and this causes a soaked baby mouse to end up with a bad cold! All right, if the mice can't enter the nursery, the clockwork mouse is going to visit them in their home, so that evening he squeezes through the small hole and is welcomed with open arms - or perhaps legs in this case. The rest of the tale involves a lost key, a little embarrassment on the toys' part, and an adventure for the three doll's house dolls who enter the mouse hole on a mission. There is a happy finale to this tale (could there ever be anything else?) and the last picture shows the real mice and the clockwork mouse being waited on hand and foot by the doll's house dolls.


Eileen Soper has once again supplied a varied assortment of pictures that are displayed in monochrome. Soper is very popular in the Enid Blyton World.

2. In The Little Stray Cat, it's fairly obvious the tree falls down on the house. Now, if you have a copy of Five Go to Smugglers Top, go to Page#23 where you can see what could be called an Exactamundo depiction of the terrible incident.

5. When first reading The Little Boy Who Played Alone I was quite drawn to the fairy he met because she looked nice and an even bigger attraction was the magical powers she would have possessed. Palling up with one of the fairy folk could yield rich pickings for a hungry child ... and what child isn't feeling peckish most hours of the day? With the wave of a wand, twp boxes of Chocolate Marshmallow Easter Eggs could be conjured up for a Special Friend!

7. For people who live in hot countries and have never seen a living-room fire, Fire Irons are implements such as a "poker" for poking the flames to move the wood or coal about and a little shovel with a brush for sweeping up cinders that might fall down. Also in The Big Bad Dog story we have a little kitten knocking a goldfish bowl full of water, down from the bookcase. That's quite a tall order but perhaps it's a body-builder kitten with a strong constitution as well because it didn't seem to suffer at all after licking a pile of soot off its fur.

8. Mollie also must have been quite fit seeing she pedalled her car up a hill but maybe it was just a slight incline.

10. Jack Hobbs is mentioned in Jimmy's Cricket Bat. Some readers may recognize the name (not I). He was a well-known cricketer round the time EB created the story. Ha'pennies are, of course, half pennies and we used to pronounce them as Hay-pin-ease. Question: How does one become a millionaire? Answer: Ask your friends to give you $10 for each time Enid Blyton uses "Harry" as one of her characters.

11. According to EB, Mr. Meanie always wears his top hat but Eileen Soper has not included it in the first picture, nor in the second. In fact, checking it out, there are seven pictures and only one shows the hat actually on the man's head, but ... there are good reasons for Lack of Hat.

13. Finny's bowl may have been plastic seeing it didn't break. Like many of the author's plots, The Surprising Goldfish is pretty well repeated in Enid Blyton's Sixth Bedside Book (What Shall We Do?). It's almost exactly the same but in this case, when the cat knocks the bowl down from the bookcase, the fish somehow ends up in the garden pond.

Trivia: Tales After Supper contains two stories where a feline upsets a goldfish bowl!

15. Belinda isn't mentioned in the story-title (Billy Bob has an Adventure) but she's there all right. Billy Bob's own little book in the EB collection is Billy-Bob Tales. A couple of years later Tales of Betsy-May appeared and she looks about the same age as Belinda (Billy-Bob's sister), but there's no connection.

17. Chinky in "Chinky and the Poppy" is not the pixie that features in Adventures of the Wishing Chair. The name has been used a few times and the most well known one has to be the pixie (male) that starred in the Wishing Chair adventures. Other namesakes: Chinky Takes a Parcel (1986) is an actual book featuring an old Sunny Stories tale. Chinky and the Brownies is another vintage tale not to mention Chinky and the Soup that stars a pixie who lives in Primrose Cottage (reprinted in Fifteen Minute Tales). Chinky of the Wishing Chair books lives in a playroom belonging to a couple of children ... that's when he's not keeping his mother company at her house.