This is the third story in the omnibus that I have of George and Timmy adventures. The Footprint in the Sand as a title doesn’t really have much to do with the story, unless I missed something very important. However I shall get on to that. As you may remember I haven’t been the biggest fan of Sue Welford’s George and Timmy stories, which is a shame because if I was a child I think I would really enjoy them, but I’m just too old so that the excitement of them doesn’t catch me. I would recommend them as a way to ease children into the Famous Five novels though, and shall certainly be doing that at work when I take the book back on Tuesday.
I wish I could say that The Footprint in the Sand was a nice story to finish on, but it felt the same as the other two stories, very samey and unfortunately we face very much the same problems as before with George not liking Holly, the little girl. There is a lot of disobedience from George and judging going on as she makes up her mind not to like Holly even before she sets her eyes on her – just because she is a girl. George does a lot of pre-judging in these books, and makes decisions based on what people look and sound like. This doesn’t feel like the George we love and know who in usually is fair minded enough to give everyone a chance.
Welford also keeps reminding us that George is ‘a little girl’. As an adult I sort of sighed and wished there were other ways to describe her. Blyton came up with a good few, stubborn girl was one that always worked well with George.
Anyway, the main story is about Aunt Fanny (I will always call her that) being nice to the new people in the village who have a little girl, and wanting George to play nicely with Holly. Holly is a bit scared of everything, and also wears dresses. George just can’t stand anyone who wears dresses and also never really gives the girl a chance because she doesn’t like Timmy.
George begins to act in her very selfish way by putting what she wants over being nice to Holly, and forces the girl to retreat as she plays with Timmy. The next day she even skips out of playing with Holly by going off to Kirrin Island with Timmy. This is where the adventure really takes off and George discovers people trespassing on her island.
She overhears the men planning to rob a house “with a blue door, behind the church” and Timmy breaks cover to nip at the men’s ankles meaning that they discover George and hold her prisoner. She has a little cry when she thinks the men have left her on the island and taken Timmy away from her, but the little puppy has chewed his way through his rope and creeps back to chew through the rope for his little mistress.
The head back to Kirrin cottage to tell a grown-up that there will be a robbery, but Aunt Fanny is not at home, she’s visiting the Barrett’s. George hurries along, all dirty from her capture and her mother is appalled to see her daughter in such a state.
We go through the whole rigmarole of George not being listened to by the grown-ups and then the girlie girl, Holly being the only one who listens and tries to help George prevent the robbery.
I feel the need to keep apologizing to Sue Welford for my reviews of her books. I really do try and find things I love about them, but I’m just not the age group she was writing for, and because they’re not the Timmy and George I know and love, its hard for me to see them in such a different way. But as I said at the start, I would recommend these to people who want to maybe introduce younger children to the five; they would see the magic I’m lacking I’m sure. I shall certainly do my bit for recommending them to readers in the library because as we know, Blyton never goes out of style! 😉