The Enid Blyton Society
Enid Blyton's Magazine Annual Number 1
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Book Details...

First edition: 1954
Publisher: Evans Brothers
Cover Art: Grace Lodge
Illustrator: listed with stories
Category: Enid Blyton's Magazine Annuals
Genre: Mixed
Type: Short Story Series Books

On This Page...

List of Contents
Review by Terry Gustafson
Further Illustrations

  1. A Lazy Afternoon {Famous Five}
    Illustrations: Eileen A. Soper
    Story: Specially Written
  2. Come Along, Little Noddy!
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  3. Don't Let Me Go, Brer Fox!
    Illustrations: Grace Lodge
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.5 Vol.1 Mar 13, 1953
  4. Naughty Little Click {Josie, Click and Bun}
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  5. They Met Mr. Pink-Whistle
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.1 Vol.1 Mar 18, 1953
  6. Hallo, Golly, Woggie, & Nigger! {Three Golliwogs}
    Illustrations: Joyce A. Johnson
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.3 Vol.1 Apr 15, 1953
  7. Well Really, Bun! {Josie, Click and Bun}
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  8. You Make Us Laugh, Mr. Meddle
    Illustrations: Rosalind M. Turvey
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.10 Vol.1 Jul 22, 1953
  9. Look Behind You, Little Noddy!
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  10. Amelia Jane and the Sailor Doll
    Illustrations: Sylvia I. Venus
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.4 Vol.1 Apr 29, 1953
  11. Josie's Good Idea {Josie, Click and Bun}
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  12. Mr. Twiddle and the Soap
    Illustrations: Hilda McGavin
    Story: Enid Blyton's Magazine No.2 Vol.1 Apr 1, 1953
  13. They Missed the Bus!
    Illustrations: uncredited
    Story: Specially Written
  14. Funny Little Whiskers {Josie, Click and Bun}
    Illustrations: Dorothy M. Wheeler
    Story: Picture Strip - Specially Written
  15. The Humbug Adventure {Secret Seven}
    Illustrations: Bruno Kay
    Story: Specially Written
{ } indicates popular characters where not mentioned in the title

Wraparound dustwrapper illustrated by Grace Lodge

Back endpapers illustrated by Eileen A. Soper
The title tells us of course that the collection is related to Enid Blyton's fortnightly Magazine and she must have worked eight days a week to fit that publication in as well all the other books she was writing.

Like The Big Enid Blyton Book, this is a compendium with a colourful wrapper picturing various Blyton characters and there are dice games inside the front and back covers the latter features the Famous Five.

There's a letter from Enid Blyton who's probably sitting outside Green Hedges with her typewriter and hammering at the keys to express her thoughts and good wishes to fans all round the world. It appears that the children all wanted an Annual so this book is described as the First one and she tells us she had to put in a "Famous Five" story of course because they topped the number of requests along with the "Secret Seven. " Mr. Pink-Whistle, Brer Rabbit and Noddy who are also very popular characters are included as well. We're then told that the book is going out to boys and girls in other countries as well as Britain Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Ceylon, Malay (presumably Malaya), and India to every place where there are English-speaking children.

We begin with an 8-page story and it stars some of the most famous characters in children's fiction. They're the four Kirrins, who are two boys and two girls, and they're old hands at stumbling into hair-raising situations the likes of which are not experienced by your run-of-the-mill kid. To date, they have won against impossible odds be they smugglers, crooked scientists, thieves, robbers, kidnappers - or plain nut-cases, one of whom they confronted in a hidden mansion. Part of the reason they always win out in the end is due to the help supplied by their companion - Timmy, who's an extremely loyal, intelligent, fast, agile, not bad looking, and ferocious (if need be) dog! The Famous Five are always ready for adventure but today it's a "Lazy Afternoon" and they're too hot to do anything much. Something has to happen though and it's typical a couple of men are heard near the copse where the Five are lounging around and there's the classic Eileen Soper picture showing one of the children peering out from the bushes at the suspicious characters whom, I'll bet, are baddies. They have to be because we're already up to the fourth page of this story. Can the children take on two rough men? You'd better believe they can and even if you think they can't they'll still have a go because courage is not in short supply where these children are concerned. What's more, they have back-up in the form of Timmy - yes he's an official member of the Famous Five.

There are Noddy strip-stories, a Nature-Lover's corner tells us about "Spring," and there's a picture to paint. If messing around with one's birthday present is acceptable, and if the child is careful, the colouring-in of pictures from the actual stories can further enhance the book. We are honoured once again to have Brer Rabbit in this collection with Grace Lodge as his illustrator, and the reader will also come across a couple of picture strips featuring Josie Click and Bun who have also been attended to by their original artist. That's very welcome because the pictures become so familiar over the years although in these later times a fresh generation may be getting used to newer depictions.

Mr. Pink-Whistle gets a hefty 12 pages and he probably needs them because he has to teach a lesson to a couple of nuisances. He's an old hand at righting wrongs so he manages the task quite efficiently and after that we pass more "Noddy" and more "Nature" and come to three characters named Golly, Woggie, and Nigger. I'm sure you've guessed what type of dolls they are and their specialty is getting people mixed up because, being triplets, they all look alike. In this story they purchase swimsuits at different times and completely confuse the shop owner because he thinks it's the same person buying three outfits. Why would one person want three swimsuits he wonders? Once again we have Joyce Johnson's delightful pictures and we're left in no doubt that when the three Golliwogs are around, perplexity reigns!

A maze, rhyming riddles, and a paper pattern project precede a further story that contains another well-known character. Yes, it's Mr. Meddle so get ready for a good laugh. Further on another Enid Blyton' doll appears in the form of Amelia Jane who's a favourite with children because she's so naughty. She gets up to all kinds of mischief and is popular enough to have starred in her own short series of books. In this tale she becomes involved with a sailor doll and someone gets very wet. On Page 100 a crossword appears, and then a picture in which you have to "Spot the Mistakes." It's handy to know how many mistakes there are in a "Spot the Mistakes" and this one has 14 listed at the back of the book. A child of about seven should find it enjoyable because it won't be as easy for him or her as it would be for an adult.

It's certainly the Cream of the Crop regarding short stories because we now come to "Mr. Twiddle," an elderly chap who's always getting into trouble because of his absent-mindedness. Today his inclination is to go next door and spank a boy and a girl who have caused him a spot of bother. Later on he files a report with his better half and demonstrates to her what the children had been up to and in doing so, causes "a spot of bother" to their Granny who's coming back from some errand. She barges into the house and proceeds to scold Twiddle mercilessly. Yes, it's all in a day's work for the old chap and there's no doubt about it, his upside-down life is well displayed in this story.

Dick and Jane miss the bus on Page 18 but as it happened because of a good deed, they reap the reward, which is what always happens in Enid Blyton stories ... and then we come to the last entry. This features seven astute children - Peter, Janet, Colin, George, Jack, Pam and Barbara who make up a very successful society that holds true to its code, which could well be "... to Fight For Truth, Justice And The American (English, actually) Way!" They are The Secret Seven and like the Famous Five, they track down crooks but, although some of them get into one or two tight spots, the danger they face doesn't really reach the level of that which the Kirrins have to undergo but its all relative because the Secret Seven tales are geared more towards the younger child. The featured story is called "The Humbug Adventure."
The compendiums or anthologies that Enid Blyton produced are an entertaining mixture of stories, pictures, puzzles, poems, and nature study.

The Magazine Annuals, of which there are four, contain original stories and also reprints from the magazines that Enid Blyton produced. Included as well are the required puzzles, poems, nature discussion, and picture stories.

The Big Enid Blyton Book contains mainly excerpts from various EB publications.

The Enid Blyton Treasury "feels" like an anthology but it's a little different. It has plenty of nature pages including glossy plates, Things to Make, Poems, and Stories with lots of pictures and one of the activities for a rainy day is actually in The Big Enid Blyton Book as well. There's also a short tale that looks as if it came straight from Malory Towers at first glance because there are schoolgirls in it and the illustrations are by Stanley Lloyd who drew the pictures in the original books.
The Famous Five are brothers and sister - Julian, Dick, and Anne Kirrin. Their cousin George joins them in the collection of hair-raising adventures, which run into 21 books plus a few extra stories. George is actually a girl (Georgina) but she hates being a female so after the initial puzzlement of her cousins, there is now amused acceptance and she has found a place in everyone's hearts. Eileen Soper illustrated the Kirrin series and also the short story in this book "A Lazy Afternoon."

"Amelia Jane" was a rather large doll owned by one of Enid Blyton's daughters Gillian. "Put her in a story," Gillian said. "So I did!" - we are told by the author in her autobiography where there is also a photograph of the original item.

I used the word "Granny" in the bit about Mr. Twiddle and I think everyone would assume a Grandmother. Why not a Grandfather? The word "Granny" seems applicable only to the female side!

"The Humbug Adventure" appeared in The Big Enid Blyton Book as well. The story has a comparatively up-to-date air about it because when the Seven get invited to look at the planet Jupiter through Professor Wills' telescope, Colin remarks that he's already seen it on television. The medium was, of course, well established in Britain at the time (early 1950's) but there aren't all that many references to television in the Blyton collection.

The trouble with writing a short story that contains seven "Regulars" is that you mightn't have enough space to allow each person to contribute. In "The Humbug Adventure" I'll be darned if I can hear one word come from George's mouth but maybe I didn't listen hard enough. Another explanation may be that as the adventure lasted about as long as it took them to consume a large humbug each, perhaps George was a little more occupied with his than were the others. "Ooogle, eles-copy-oogle, urble, oopiter!" Yes, that's in the script and it might remind the fans of Sid with his toffee in the "Find-Outer" books!

The Secret Seven were so influential round the 1950's era that many similar clubs and societies were formed by children all over the world who wanted to help the less fortunate by raising funds or perhaps they imagined themselves experiencing similar adventures to the original Secret Seven by scouring the fields and woods and the back streets of their home town. Looking at a copy of "The Junior Digest" dated June 1954 there's a report sent in by The Secret Seven Club from a place called Onehunga. "This Club occasionally has meetings by 'phone.' They have some new books in the library; some donated by members, two bought from funds. They would like some corresponding members please. Good luck Sevens!" (verbatim).

The pictures are two-tone if that's the right term either in red, blue, green, or orange.

Cost of the book = 6/- net.

Inside flap: "Enid Blyton's Magazine is published fortnightly on Wednesdays, at 4d. per copy. Buy it from your Newsagent." These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.