Not the book I was expecting to be reviewing this week due to various rescheduling issues over the past few weeks but never mind. Well Done Noddy! is the fifth book in the series, and for a brief time I will actually be reviewing the titles in order. Last time I reviewed book 4, and I have books 6 and 7 to do later.
FINAL THOUGHTS FIRST?
Usually I save my opinions until the end but today I will open with them – this is the weakest title in the series so far for me. I’m not sure quite why so I will leave those musings for the end.
Given that, I was very unsurprised that Big Ears should immediately suffer a catastrophe when Mr Jumbo sits on his bike and destroys it completely. I was a bit surprised however that Mr Jumbo accused Big Ears of riding dangerously fast around the corner with no warning, that doesn’t seem like the sensible brownie to me. Then again, Mr Jumbo was picking bicycle parts off himself and ringing every time he moved so perhaps he was exaggerating in his distress.
Noddy immediately decides this is his chance to help Big Ears (and inflame the easily offended sorts who object to him and Big Ears sharing a bed,) and takes him and his bandaged head home to look after him. The doctor comes and says he must not worry about anything.
Naturally then Big Ears has some worries. He initially worries about his house being empty so Noddy arranges for Sally Skittle and her little skittles to go and stay there. Then Big Ears starts to worry about his cat, and so Noddy brings her to stay with them.
I was sort of anticipating Big Ears coming up with worry after worry and running Noddy ragged trying to resolve them, but that wasn’t to be. Big Ears final and biggest worry is about not having a bike to ride any more.
The only solution to that, Noddy feels (as neither of them have any savings) is to raise money to buy him a new one. His car barely gets a mention but it is said that his usual wages from car rides isn’t enough to support Noddy and Big Ears and save for a bike, so he starts thinking of other ways to make money.
He sees the Wobbly-Man planting beans with some difficulty and has an idea. I thought he would offer to do the planting and get paid for it, but that’s a bit too sensible for the little wooden man. Instead he heads to the sweet shop and spends his last half-penny on a toffee, a peppermint drop and a bull’s-eye. Uh-oh, I can see where this is going, can’t you?
Yes, he goes home and plants them, complete with labels. It’s a very funny and very Noddy-ish plot and I don’t think enough is made of it really. I would have liked to have seen Noddy watering the seeds every day etc.
Anyway, as he waits for his toffee tree, peppermint drop bush and bull’s-eye tree he decides his other talent lies in his songs ans starts selling them for sixpence. He writes one for Mr Tubby Bear first, carefully not calling him fat as he doesn’t like that, a short one for Miss Bunny who hasn’t got the memory for a long one, a big one for Mr Jumbo as he is so enormous and several more for others as well.
The plot shifts all of a sudden here, when Mrs Tubby Bear gives Noddy a message from Mr Sailor Soll who wants some sacks moved from his shed to under a bush. Noddy jumps at the chance to earn seven sixpences and does it right away, under the watchful eye of the sailor doll’s neighbour.
The fact that the neighbour watched him was enough to set alarm bells ringing with me at this point, and sure enough the policeman (now names Mr Plod) shows up that evening to accuse Noddy of stealing the sacks which contained vegetables to sell.
Big Ears is incensed and rages quite impressively but in the end it comes down to the fact that the Mr Sailor Doll sent no such message and Noddy has to give up all his savings to pay for the vegetables.
It’s not quite Noddy’s fault as he received the message in good faith and, well, he’s proven he’s not always the brightest spark. Mrs Tubby Bear on the other hand, well, she took a message from a goblin regarding the sailor doll and the sacks and passed it on to Noddy which was even more stupid of her!
Anyway, Noddy decides to go and see who collects the sacks which he left under a bush (hint to Noddy – if someone asks you to hide sacks of produce under some bushes it’s probably not a good idea to do it…) and he catches Sly the Goblin.
Being magical Sly is persuaded into restoring Big Ear’s bicycle for him, as a sort of repayment for getting Noddy into trouble. Big Ears doesn’t think that’s enough though and threatens to give the goblin one or two spanks for luck.
So all’s well that ends well.
FINAL, FINAL THOUGHTS
There are some good parts to the story – Mr Jumbo picking bike parts off himself is funny, as is Noddy trying to grow sweeties into trees. I think I just felt that none of it was really connected as much as it could have been. Noddy could have been raising money for any reason in the book and then the last part with the police, the goblin etc was a very abrupt change of direction that also had nothing to do with the main plot until the end.
Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right mood for Noddy last night but it didn’t seem as clever as some of the others I’ve read in the series.