With Eileen Soper being such a prolific illustrator for Blyton it’s not hard to find her work amongst the books on my shelves. So here are another few times she drew characters that look just like the Five, even though they are, according to the text, completely different children.
George protects Timmy
We all know that George is truly fierce about defending Timmy so it’s not surprising to see her about to wallop an attacking gull with her spade here.
According to the story – One Good Turn Deserves Another – this is actually Giles, and he’s about to hit a feral dog when the gull flies in to peck it.
Dick rescues George
Here we can see a young George getting into bother by the water’s edge, and Dick who is about to come to her rescue.
You might be wondering where Timmy is in this scenario, and as it turns out that the boy in the background is Timmy. The story is The Boy Who Was Shy, and Timmy is about to rescue Ian.
Everyone will agree, I’m sure, that Julian is an absolute angel who can do no wrong. He is never bossy or domineering! And here he is in all his angelic glory, wings and all.
Or it could be Dickie, being blown by the west wind. Which I’m sure is perfectly normal.
So far these illustrations have all come from the Red Story Book, a short story collection that is exclusively illustrated by Soper. Sadly, though, there are actually not that many illustrations in it. There’s less than one per story.
Dick is a good detective
Although Julian – angelic as he is – usually takes charge in the detecting and mystery-solving, Dick is no slouch either. Here he is, again younger than he is in the first Famous Five book, carefully measuring some foot-prints in order to solve a mystery.
These are just two of 11 illustrations in Colin is a Good Policeman from The Third Holiday Book. (The budget and therefore purchase price of the holiday books must have been much higher than that of the colour story books!)
George the farmer
I spotted this one ages ago and my accompanying note was ‘George keeps chickens before she discovers the joy of dog ownership’.
This is really Harry who has rescued one hen, and appears in The Little Lost Hen in The Third Holiday Book. This is a shorter tale but still got six lovely illustrations.
Ha ha! Lovely!
Yes, it would seem Eileen Soper was limited in her ability to draw different faces, she was restricted to the FF pool of faces whenever she put pen to paper.
Having said that, Eileen is 1000% better than me at drawing.
I can only do ‘stick’ people.