Here Comes Noddy Again – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition?

Continuing with this series I’ve looked through my old hardback (so old the cover is in two parts…) and the treasury.

Previous posts:
Noddy Goes to Toyland
Hurrah for Little Noddy!
Noddy and His Car



  • Various phrases lose their hyphens
  • Mr no longer has a full stop
  • The/a policeman is named as Mr Plod. Though a couple of times he is Mr Plod the policeman, which isn’t necessary after the first time.


Sentences are reordered

  • One day he took Mary Mouse to catch the train versus He took Mary Mouse to catch the train one day.
  • There came a knock at the little front door one morning to One morning there was a knock at Noddy’s little front door. The setting was already Noddy’s house so did we need that specified?

Words are replaced

  • Hallo is changed to hello once, but left as hallo at least one other time.
  • Likewise till becomes until once or twice yet is left as till later.
  • He will get a shock becomes he would get a shock, though the tense isn’t all that important.
  • Farmhorse becomes horse.
  • Noddy no longer drives madly, but instead as fast as he can.
  • The wood becomes the woods.
  • Noddy threatens the clockwork clown if he turns head over heels in the car – I leave you behind. Admittedly it’s an unusual phrasing but it isn’t like it hasn’t been heard before. I can easily imagine my dad saying “do that again and I stop the car and turn it around…” etc. Anyway, it has become I’ll leave you behind.
  • He becomes they when it is said that he was out of Bouncing Ball Village. Yes he had a companion in the car but we are having the story from Noddy’s viewpoint.
  • He opened his eyes with a jump becomes the toy animal opened his eyes. We know who Mr Noah is talking to at the time without this change.
  • Noddy calls to Big Ears to come down and let me in,  and then Big Ears sees him down below. These become come and let me in and Noddy being outside. That matches the illustration a little better, but at least it was consistent to begin with.
  • Noddy is told to nurse your cold (a common saying) but it becomes look after that cold which I’m not sure is a saying at all. You might look after a broken leg, I suppose, but probably not a cold.

Words are removed

  • When Noddy threatens to tell Mr Noah of you [the elephant], the of you is missing.
  • Also, it was really a horrid drive loses the really.

Whole lines are rewritten

  •  Noddy got some more toy bricks when he saved a little money and went to fetch them in a box to When Noddy had saved a little money he went and got some more toy bricks in a box. I agree the second version is a little clearer but not enough to justify a rewrite.
  • I think we can all see why Else I would be feeling a lot of pricks would be changed, and it is rewritten as or these prickles would be hurting me. I don’t see why it couldn’t just have been prickles replacing pricks.
  • The farmer had offered Noddy eggs to show you I’m sorry for my goat butting you. This has become to make up for my goat butting you. Why can’t he be sorry?
  • Noddy no longer asks Mr Noah to spank the naughty elephant. Instead he asks for him to be given a telling off. As usual the makes it seem like the elephant is over-reacting. A telling off is not that bad a threat!

Punctuation is changed a few times

  • Originally it is a pond and a farm-house, and sheds, and fences. It is a little awkward but the new version – a pond and a farm house and sheds and fences is even worse.
  • Three times a comma is inserted into very very, as in a very(,) very good idea.

One correction is made

  • Its is corrected to it’s, as it is clearly in place of it is.

One mistake has crept in

  • Wound him up (as in a clockwork clown with a key) is now would him up.


The golliwogs in the story have been replaced with goblins:

  • Therefore when talking to a goblin he no longer says there might be bad goblins about. (That would be tactless). Instead he says it’s rather frightening there. 
  • He was so black Noddy couldn’t see him, and bumped into him when he walked out to find him naturally has to change to fit the new character of the goblin. Two sentences are rewritten to it was so dark that Noddy couldn’t see him at all. Then Noddy took a step forward and bumped straight into him. It could easily have been left at changing He was so black to It was so dark. 
  • The golliwogs’ black faces become ugly faces.
  • Golliwogs for some reason become goblin, singular, at one point.
  • Four big strong golliwogs become four wicked goblins.

Those aren’t all the updated illustrations as the gollies appeared in quite a few, but hopefully they show enough.

An entire paragraph is rewritten:

And now look at them both, having their party! Noddy had got his clothes back again, and his bell is jingling. Big-Ears is cutting his fourth slice of cake. The little car is safely in its garage again. Big Ears waved the cake-knife in the air and began a happy song.

And so they did. Big-Ears came back and gave Noddy all his clothes again. He drove the little car safely back into its garage, and then they both had a big slice of cake. Big-Ears waved the cake knife in the air and began a happy song.

This seems to serve two purposes. One is to stop it being another of Blyton’s direct speeches to the reader though there are plenty throughout the book (isn’t Noddy’s house lovely… look at the flowers outside… etc). The second is to tell us that Big Ears did the things Noddy asked of him, as if we couldn’t assume he had before the party started.

And lastly, Noddy’s final song is cut:

When you’re feeling very gay,
And you shout hip-hip-hurray,
What a happy day!

Two illustrations are changed (beyond replacing the gollies with goblins):

Well, gosh. I make that 39 changes this time. Not as many as Noddy and his Car (47) but respectable all the same.


This entry was posted in Updating Blyton's Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Here Comes Noddy Again – How has Blyton’s original text fared in a modern edition?

  1. Francis says:

    Brilliant analysis Fiona – thank you very much.


  2. Francis says:

    Brilliant analysis Fiona – thank you so much.


  3. Noel says:

    I recall that in the original, after Noddy has been mugged by the golliwogs, and stripped naked, he runs to Big Ears house, where he gets into bed with Big Ears. `Hold me tight’ says Noddy, and he cuddles up and spends the night safe in Big Ears strong arms. I believe that in the revised version he has to sleep in the rocking chair.


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