Noddy’s First Appearance
The 5th of June 1949 AD
For a certain period Enid Blyton seemed to have a near monopoly on children’s literature in Britain. And no wonder, given her output over a 45-year career was more than 750 books: she covered older primary school children with The Famous Five and The Secret Seven; appealed to aspirational girls with the Malory Towers series; and then from 1949 onwards had the younger market tied up with Noddy.
Noddy first saw the light of day in The Sunday Graphic on June 5 1949, quickly graduating to the first volume of the oeuvre – Noddy Goes to Toyland - in November of that year. Blyton worked at a formidable speed, not held up by rewrites and pondering the mot juste; her poor illustrator, Eelco van der Beek, struggled to keep up. He died in 1953, his legacy the hugely popular image of Noddy still published in millions of copies annually, and recycled for each new generation of television watching kids.
Blyton doesn’t appeal to adults, her style clumsy and with little humour; but children continue to devour the books in spite of the disapproval of some of their elders – including for many years the BBC , which banned Blyton’s work from the radio until the 1950s.
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