This post was inspired by an article on the Guardian site: Six of the best Enid Blyton quotes which was published in honour of Enid Blyton’s birthday this year. Two of the quotes were no surprise as they are always floating around the internet (usually attributed simply to Blyton rather than noting which book they came from) but it was interesting to see which other quotes they picked.
The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” (Mr Galliano’s Circus),
It wasn’t a bit of good fighting grown-ups. They could do exactly as they liked.” (Five on a Treasure Island)
I think people make their own faces as they grow.” (The Naughtiest Girl)
are often seen (by me anyway) on Pinterest in particular but also elsewhere on the web.
The other Guardian picks are perhaps less well known:
I’m good at exploring roofs. You never know when that kind of thing comes in useful.” (The Rubadub Mystery)
I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.” (Five Go Off in a Caravan)
Mothers were much too sharp. They were like dogs.” (The Mystery of the Hidden House)
There are probably many quotes that could have been used for the”food always tasting better out-of doors” theme, most of them coming from Anne and Lucy-Ann of The Famous Five and Adventure Series respectively.
So, now to my personal favourites. I’m being quite loose with the definition of a quote here – there’s nothing as concise as in the Guardian article and some are more like paragraphs or pieces of conversation. But never mind, they are my favourites at any rate.
LINES I USE AS MY SIGNATURE ON THE ENID BLYTON SOCIETY FORUMS
“It’s the ash! It’s falling!” yelled Julian, almost startling Dick out of his wits.
“Listen to its terrible groans and creaks!” yelled Julian, almost beside himself with impatience.
There’s some lines in between these in the book but those two are my favourites and make me smile every time I read Five Go to Smuggler’s Top.
JUST ONE OF THE REASONS IRENE MADE MY TOP THREE CHARACTERS
“Clear out,” yelled everyone, and Irene brandished her hairbrush fiercely, almost knocking Belinda’s eye out.
Again, this quote – from In the Fifth at Malory Towers this time – makes me grin every time I read it. It’s just such an Irene thing to do.
BLYTON’S MOST ICONIC PHRASE
And Maggie knows too.
From Five on a Hike Together, there can’t be a more quotable, repeatable, memorable line from a Blyton book. Most things whispered through a window in the dead of night, particularly by wide-eyed, bullet-headed escaped convicts would be, though.
FOR THE SHOCK AND RELIEF OF THE FIRST READ,
AND FAMILIAR JOY THEREAFTER
Don’t forget Bill Smugs!
It’s Bill, coming to the rescue in The Mountain of Adventure. An iconic moment even if most readers rate Mountain as the weakest Adventure book.
ONE SUMMING UP A FINAL TOUCH THAT MAKES A HOLLOW TREE A HOME
“I guess we’re the only people in all the world that have a room in a tree, with a window in the trunk and a curtain for it made of leaves.”
I just love the house they make in Hollow Tree House – with the branch shelf and the clock from home – but my favourite part is when they make a little window complete with a leafy curtain. Blyton was a master of making caves and trees and other unusual places into safe, comfortable places to live. All it takes is a sandy or mossy floor, a fern curtain, a shelf to put the food on and some candles to light it up after dark.
ONE OF KIKI’S BEST MOMENTS – AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN SPEAK!
Suddenly Kiki gave an alarming screech, lost her balance and fell right off of the tower! She disappeared below and the children leapt up in horror. Then they sat down again, smiling and feeling rather foolish – for, of course, as soon as she fell, Kiki spread out her wings and soared into the air!
A particularly funny moment in Castle of Adventure. I’m sure the readers are just as worried for a moment.
AND FINALLY, JULIAN AT HIS SHARP-TONGUED BEST
Battling with Mr Stick:
“Now, now, look ‘ere,” sid Mr Stick from his corner.
“I don’t want to look at you,” said Julian at once.
“Now, look ‘ere,” said Mr Stick, angrily, standing up.
“I’ve told you I don’t want to,” said Julian. “You’re not a pretty sight.”
(One quote isn’t enough…)
“Supper! The best things out of the larder – bought with my uncle’s money, cooked on my aunt’s stove with gas she pays for – yes, supper!”
(And neither is two)
“Let me offer you our supper – bread and cheese, Mrs Stick, bread and cheese!”
All of the above are from Five Run Away Together, with Julian masterfully facing off against Ma and Pa Stick. I could have ‘quoted’ whole pages here but I tried to keep it down to a minimum (!).
Likewise I could have come up with a lot more quotes I’m sure. Blyton wrote so many brilliant books. I haven’t even begun to explore Kiki’s best lines or the descriptions of Kirrin Island or the glorious feasts served up in so many farmhouses. But I have to stop somewhere, preferably before I reproduce entire chapters.
So what are your favourite Blyton quotes?