The Enid Blyton Society
A Picnic Party with Enid Blyton
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Book Details...

First edition: 1951
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Illustrator: Grace Lodge
Category: Hodder Party Books
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
List of Contents
Review by Julie Heginbotham

Reprints
  1. My Picnic Party
    Story: Specially Written
  2. The Day of the Picnic
    Story: Specially Written
  3. Time for the Picnic
    Story: Specially Written
  4. What a Funny Thing to Do!
    Story: Sunny Stories No.350 Mar 23, 1945
  5. A Most Peculiar Bird
    Story: Sunny Stories No.376 Mar 22, 1946
  6. A Hole in Her Pocket
    Story: Sunny Stories No.375 Mar 8, 1946
  7. Coltsfoot Magic
    Story: Sunny Stories No.375 Mar 8, 1946
  8. The Bold Bad Boy
    Story: Sunny Stories No.374 Feb 22, 1946
  9. A Surprise for Mother and Susan
    Story: Sunny Stories No.372 Jan 25, 1946
  10. An Interval for the Picnic
    Story: Specially Written
  11. "I Dare You To!"
    Story: Sunny Stories No.371 Jan 11, 1946
  12. Two Little Meddlers
    Story: Sunny Stories No.367 Nov 16, 1945
  13. The Swallow Fairy
    Story: Sunny Stories No.365 Oct 19, 1945
  14. He Belonged to the Family
    Story: Daily Mail Annual for Boys and Girls Oct 1950
  15. The Little Red Aeroplane
    Story: Sunny Stories No.367 Nov 16, 1945
  16. Glass in the Road
    Story: Sunny Stories No.348 Feb 23, 1945
  17. A Bit of Luck for the Goblin
    Story: Sunny Stories No.366 Nov 2, 1945
My copy of this book is a first edition, but sadly no dust jacket. I never read it as a child, and sorry I didn't, as it is a lovely book for the younger reader. I bought this copy from an old book shop, and glad I did.

Enid is well known for bringing the reader into any story she writes, so that you feel you are in the mystery or adventure, and with this book you really are, as she writes it in the first person and she invites you to the picnic party along with twelve other children, who are, Sarah, Lynne, Mary, John, Catherine, David, Jane, Charles, Margaret, William, Richard, Robert and she writes and you, of course. There is also an invitation card printed in the very first chapter which is called My Picnic Party. And it says:-

Enid Blyton
Is giving a story party
On High-Up Hill.
The invitation is for
...
Please come if you can.

I would imagine that a young reader would fill in their own name along the dotted lines of the invitation. I know I would have done!

In the first chapter Enid says that - we will all meet at Green Hedges, which is my house as you know. Then we will set off to walk to High-Up Hills, and find a good place for a picnic. We will all sit down, and then I will let each one of you ask for any special story you want.

Already the reader is drawn in, and looking forward to the thirteen short stories that Enid is going to tell everyone at the picnic. In the next chapter The Day of the Picnic Enid goes on to say that everyone is coming to Green Hedges at three o'clock and so all morning she will be getting the picnic baskets ready, and goes on to describe all the sandwiches she will be making, a fruit cake, two Swiss jam-rolls and many biscuits in the shape of letters. She says she will be making 6 bottles of lemonade and will be bringing cardboard cartons for everyone to drink from. These days the name would be plastic cups, and I had a little grin at the name of cardboard cartons, as they were known by, in the early 50's.

In the chapter Time for the Picnic - there is a lovely picture drawn by Grace Lodge, showing a little of Green Hedges, Enid in a lovely large hat welcoming a few children, as she waits in the front garden writing, that she can hear some of you coming along the road. When everyone has arrived Enid leads the way through the little wood and out across a field towards High-Up Hill. With everyone sitting on the grass amongst the daisies, and skylarks overhead and a chaffinch calling loudly from a nearby hedge, Enid then writes I look at you all. You are sitting on the grass around me, looking very serious. Who's to choose the very first story?

The first story is chosen by Margaret and is called What a Funny Thing To Do.

After each story, there is a page of what the children think about the story and talking to Enid Blyton, and who the next story is for.

After a story for Mary, is a chapter called An Interval for the Picnic. Where they all chat to Enid Blyton, drinking from their cardboard cartons, and Enid writes that she hears a lot of whispering going on between David, William and Sarah, and they have written with the lettered biscuits THANK YOU FOR OUR TEA.

The very last story is for the reader, and Enid writes I'll tell you your story now, and I do hope you like it. It's called 'A Bit of Luck for the Goblin.

All the thirteen stories are lovely little tales, and during two of them I was reminded of the Secret Seven. One story was called The Little Red Aeroplane, which reminded me of Susie's red aeroplane in the book - Three Cheers for the Secret Seven, and in another we meet a horse called Brownie, which is in the book - Fun for the Secret Seven. Of course these books were written much later! The stories also have a purpose, of right and wrong, as do many of Enid's books. One tells of a boy who is poor, and has no friends, but because he helps out one of the boys who ignores him, they of course become friends, and Enid says, that it doesn't matter if you're poor; it's about liking the person themselves, because they're kind, and you can trust them.

Catherine's story is about a dare, and how two boys fall through ice because they were dared too and didn't want to be thought of as cowards! But the story tells that it is far better to be braver and say 'no' to such silly 'dares'. So each tale is a sort of lesson that the reader can understand and learn by.

A lovely enjoyable read, and well worth buying a copy to add to an Enid Blyton collection of books.