Sunday, 5 February 2017

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2017 - Another Slice


This is the second of my Birth Year Reading Challenge posts. To read more about the challenge, please visit J. G. at the Hotchpot Café. I’ve changed the rules a little by concentrating on books by Enid Blyton. She was a prolific and successful writer, which is how she came to have forty books published in the year of my birth. Last week, I shared twenty books published in 1948, and today I’m sharing the rest.

The Boy with the Loaves and Fishes and The Little Girl at Capernaum were both published by the Lutterworth Press one in May and the other in November 1948. The illustrations are by Elsie Walker.


The Saucy Jane Family (Caravan Family No. 2) was also published by the Lutterworth Press in 1948, colour frontis by Ruth Gervis. This story was originally serialised in Playways Magazine in 1946.

The Saucy Jane Family Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton Readers No. 7 published in April 1948 with illustrations by Eileen Soper. 

Enid Blyton Readers No. 7

Just Time for a Story published my Macmillan in October 1948. I've shared the dust jacketed edition because I love the Eileen Soper artwork. This, however, may not be a 1st edition because according to a bibliography of Enid Blyton’s work, the original publication didn't have a dust jacket. Apparently, there were 23,000 copies printed in that first edition which just shows the popularity of Enid Blyton at the time. 

Enid Blyton Just time for a story

The Sea of Adventure published by Macmillan in May 1948. The dust jacket illustration is by Stuart Tresilian. This is one of the three books already in my collection, so I don't need to look for this one.  

The sea of adventure Enid Blyton

The Mystery of the Hidden House (Find-Outers Mystery No. 6).  Published by Methuen in November 1948. I sold dozens of copies of this during my years as a bookseller, now I'm kicking myself for not keeping one! 

the mystery of the hidden house Enid Blyton

The Third Year at Malory Towers published by Methuen in October 1948. Dust jacket illustration by Stanley Lloyd.

Third Year at Malory Towers Enid Blyton

Come to the Circus published by George Newnes, July 1948

Come to the circus Enid Blyton

I've seen copies of Josie, Click and Bun but not More About Josie, Click and Bun so this one might prove hard to find. Published by George Newnes in February 1948.  Story told in pictures with illustrations by Dorothy M. Wheeler. 

More about Josie, Click and Bun Enid Blyton

Let's Have a Story and We Want a Story both published by H. A. & W. L. Pitkin in 1948.

Enid Blyton Let’s have a story and We want a story

My Enid Blyton Brer Rabbit Book published by Purnell with illustrations by Grace Lodge.

Enid Blyton Brer Rabbit

The Third Holiday Book, published by Sampson Low, Marston in October 1948. I do love these books and will be happy to add this one to my collection. Many well-known illustrators contributed pictures, including Helen Jacobs, Mary Kendal Lee, Grace Lodge, Eileen Soper and Hilda Boswell.

The third holiday book Enid Blyton

The Adventures of Pip and More Adventures of Pip, both published by Sampson Low, Marston. These might also be tricky to find as I've only ever seen copies without the dust jackets. 

Enid Blyton The adventures of Pip and more adventures of Pip

Tales After Tea Published in November 1948 by T. Werner Laurie. The pretty dust jacket is by Eileen A Soper.

Tales after tea Enid Blyton

I could leave the next three out because they are activity books rather than story books. However, they were published in the ‘right’ year, and I rather like them, so I will try to find them. The publishers didn’t miss a trick when it came to exploiting the popularity of Enid Blyton, and it appears their ploy is still working. The titles are: Enid Blyton's Road Safety Colouring Book, Enid Blyton's Merry Christmas Cards for you to colour and Enid Blyton's Birthday Cards Colouring Book.        

Enid Blyton Activity books 1948


Sunny Stories Calendar 1948. I really should leave this one out. It's not a book and it must have been published in 1947 but I like it and this is my list – right? I will probably have the devils own job trying to find it but when was a challenge ever supposed to be easy. 😉 I might have to resort to the Internet to find it but not until I’ve exhausted all other avenues. 

Sunny Stories Calendar 1948 Enid Blyton

I finished typing the above paragraph and then went to eBay with no real hope of one being available. Would you believe it, there is one for sale at £125.00 (US$156)? Um, I won’t be buying that then. It may be sold or no longer available when you read this, but if you want to take a look the item number is 192069080028.

View details here

Having assembled my list, I’m now hoping to find a first edition copy of each book. Some are readily available online, but as I’m on a limited budget, I hope to find them in second-hand book shops, charity shops, flea markets and the like. If I’m successful I will let you know in a future post or posts. If you don’t hear another word, you will know I’ve failed miserably. Wish me luck!



45 comments:








  1. HeHe! Hate anything that says 'Part Two'...
    So..I had a look at some of her poetry...!
    And liked this one....
    As l remember the bit about the
    ladybirds burning house...! :(.

    The Ladybird..by Enid Blyton..!

    Ladybird, you’re very neat
    From tiny head to little feet,
    I like your coat of red and black,
    I like your clean and shining back.
    Do you polish it each night
    To make it shine so gay and bright,
    Or do you keep a tiny fay
    Who rubs it up for you each day?
    Beneath your shiny back there lie
    The gauzy wings with which you fly,
    You’re spreading them – oh please don’t go,
    There’s such a lot I want to know.
    Your house is burning, do you say?
    Ah, well, of course, you mustn’t stay!

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    1. Oh I love that poem Willie, and I know what you mean I’m never very inspired when I see part two. Perhaps I should change the title to make it sound like a completely new topic, (but that would be cheating) so maybe I should remove ‘part two’ and replace it with ‘second installment’ or ‘Enid Blyton x’2. :-)
      Would that make you more or less inclined to read the post?

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    2. I've changed the title Willie - is that better? x

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    3. Ah! Yes! Slice...sounds more like a
      piece/slice of 'cake'...Put me down for
      three slices! :).
      HaHa! Used to worry me as l boy, on telly,
      l'd watch say William Tell..Robin Hood...
      It was always Part One, Part Two, Part Three!
      and so on...!
      Goodness! I feel like a Jig~saw puzzle now!
      In Pieces...no..in slices! :0).

      Why was the Ladybird thrown out of the forest???
      Because it was a 'litter bug'..! :).

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    4. Three slices it is Willie, and a nice cup of tea to go with it.

      Why did the Ladybird cross the road?
      Because it was the chickens day off!

      (Sorry it’s the best I can do)

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  2. I love all the books here and the illustrations are fantastic! The calendar is adorable!

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    1. I know Linda. I've fallen for the calendar in a big way, but I can’t see myself spending £125 on it! I just need to find it at a jumble sale or something. :)

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  3. That will be challenging, but you never know what used bookstore might have some. A lot of them have their list on the Internet, so you just might strike it lucky.
    She wrote a variety, didn't she? Those first two look like Christian books.

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    1. Hi Alex, you re absolutely right it will be a difficult challenge, but I’m willing to take my time to try to find as many of the books as I can. You are also quite right about the first two books. Enid Blyton published several books of short retellings of biblical stories, including The Children’s Life of Christ in 1943 and Tales from the Bible in 1944. It’s possible the two stories featured here were originally published in one or other of those books and simply republished in a different format in 1948.

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  4. Those little clothes on the Saucy Jane cover are back in style. We've come full circle.
    Wishing you much success with this excellent challenge:)

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    1. Hello Sandra,
      That cover reminds me of my two little granddaughters, and yes, they would wear those clothes. Thank you for your good wishes. Barbara

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  5. Wishing you luck in finding or re-finding all these treasures. I'm also surprised at the sheer variety that Enid Blyton turned her hand at, and it's wonderful to see all the cover illustrations. 'The Sea of Adventure' is probably my favourite here - you can almost taste the sea spray and the ginger beer!

    I'm also fascinated, as a marketing person, by the way Enid Blyton's signature is used as a 'Branding device' (to use a rather nasty phrase from today) in the designs.

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    1. She was certainly versatile and prolific although not popular with critics, teachers or parents. I’m dyslexic (not that I knew that at the time) and for me, reading was a chore but having been given one of the Famous Five adventures I suddenly wanted to read. I didn’t understand all the words, but I found a new joy in reading, which has never left me. Sadly, it made no difference to my atrocious spelling!
      I have a feeling branding (in terms of authors) was invented when Enid Blyton arrived on the scene! If she were around today, she would be up there with the likes of J. K. Rowling!

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    2. I think Beatrix Potter and her publisher did a pretty good job of 'brand creation' if we're looking at it this way. The books are unmistakeable, and the 'brand# is still going strong over 100 years later with all manner of films, toys, china, games etc.

      It's most admirable that you've found your way to be a bookseller and blogger despite the dyslexic set-back - three cheers! :)

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    3. You are absolutely right about Beatrix Potter, can you imagine how many times her books have been republished over the years. It must run into the hundreds if not thousands.

      I started bookselling after years of office jobs, most of which involved accountancy. I left school at 15 with no qualifications and went into shop work, so I was very lucky to get my first office job. I went on to become a qualified accountant in my forties, but had to sit O and A levels first. I was really lucky to meet a wonderful teacher at night school who soon realised I had a problem. She sent me of for a Dyslexia assessment which was extremely uncomfortable (I had spent years trying to hide my inadequacies), but it proved really helpful because I was then given an extra 20 minutes for each exam, and some allowance was made for my spelling. I spent a lot of evenings at night school while working during the day, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all. The funny thing was as soon as I qualified I knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing accounts!

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  6. Good morning dearest Barbara! YOU are on a roll here and what fun titles! I really would love to see "Come to the Circus" - all of these books look fun, but that particular title and cover illustration is just precious with the little dog!

    Great challenge. Perhaps I will do this during my summer vacation. Have a wonderful new week!

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    1. Hello Anita, I rather got carried away, but it was impossible to leave any of them out once I got started. I envisage lots of weekends spent searching around car book sales & flea markets this summer.
      I hope you have fun if you do join in. xx

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  7. Look at all those Enid books!
    Happy Monday!

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    1. Thank you Sandra. I was away from home yesterday so I'm too late to wish you a Happy Monday, but I can wish you a Happy Tuesday. :)

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  8. Golly! When did Enid Blyton eat or sleep in 1948? I hope you find all the books you want, Barbara! You never know... I never imagined I would find all the versions of the Ginny doll I loved as a child (at affordable prices!!!). Keep us posted! So happy to know another Enid Blyton reader!

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    1. Hello Colleen, She wrote some of them prior to 1948 for inclusion in Sunny Stories and other magazines, but they didn’t appear in book form until 1948. However, many of them were brand new stories in that year, so she was certainly very busy! I don’t know how she did it or where she got the ideas from, but I’m very glad she did. The publishers were very obviously making money while her popularity was so high. Have a lovely week.

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    2. Do your adorable granddaughters read Enid Blyton? I have introduced her books to some youngsters.I like to have them read to me as I cook when I have children staying here. Especially Malory Towers!

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    3. Hello Colleen, not quite yet but I’m sure it won’t be long (if their Nanny has anything to do with it!). :-) Lilly (the four-year-old) loves looking at Angelina Ballerina, and big sister Zoe (just six) is into school readers. Learning to read is such an exciting time, and it will open up a big new world for the girls.

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  9. She was a prolific writer. How could she possibly publish all those books in one year? It boggles my mind!

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    1. Hello Darlene, the answer I gave Colleen (above) will give you an idea of how it happened, but it is still mind boggling. Anything with her name on sold, so it must have been very tempting to rehash old stories, or compile lots of short stories and magazine submissions into ‘new’ books.

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  10. Another great collection of her books, amazing! You know me, I'm loving that 'The Sea of Adventure' cover---great design and it includes so many of my favorite things: puffins, seagulls, and hot air balloons, oh my! Best of luck with your challenge!

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    1. Hello Marcia, it’s an excellent challenge, and I’m looking forward to the warmer weather when I can start scouring the fetes and flea markets. All the dust jackets from the adventure series are beautiful, but I have a particular fondness for The Sea of Adventure because it reminds me of summer holidays. Enid Blyton had some of the best artists working on her books, which must have something to do with how popular they were and still are.

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    2. You've inspired me to find out more about Enid. Although my two local libraries don't carry her books, there are a lot of them in the two state systems I have access, too. Looks like I'll be reading right along with you!

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    3. How exciting Marcia, you might well be reading some of the stories before I do so it would be good to hear what you think of them.

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  11. Hi Barbara, instead of 'part two' I thought of 'continued' but your change of title is just so apt considering the title photograph. Superb!

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    1. It was really kind of you to think about it John, thank you. I was staring at the picture of the cake and candles hoping for inspiration to strike … I’m glad you think it works OK. Hope your week is going well. :)

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  12. What happy memories this brings back. I was born 1946 and really grew up with Enid Blyton, and LOVED them all. I recently read an article about her in a German magazine. Thanks for the fod memorie, and good luck with your quest! Hus, Valerie

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    1. So we are really close in age, that’s nice, and it’s lovely to meet another Enid Blyton fan. Barbara x

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  13. So many Blyton books I'm not familiar with. How I wish I'd taken more care in selecting which of my mam's childhood books to keep rather than just keeping those that I had went onto read as a girl.

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    1. It would be lovely to go back and take a look at your mum’s books, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. I don’t suppose they were very interesting to you back then, and I was just the same. I’ve only got one of my dad’s books. The nice thing is he wrote in it, so I look at his handwriting from time to time, and it brings back lots of memories.

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  14. Good luck with your quest, Barbara! I believe I have a copy of Mystery of the Hidden House, no dust jacket. Everything is packed up right now, though. I'm sure you will have no problem finding your first editions!!

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    1. No problem at all Teressa, they are on display nice and close to my chair and out of the sun! :-)

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  15. Dear Barbara I do so hope you find the first editions. They all are absolutely adorable books. Looking at your books makes me want to collect them too but I know I won't be doing though😀

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    1. Hello Shashi, I may have to accept reprints in the end but not before I’ve had a good look for them! Of course, it all depends on cost. I can’t justify spending a fortune on them, especially as Terry and I are saving for another trip to Australia. Seeing the family obviously comes first.
      I looked at images of vintage dress making patterns on a friend's blog and immediately started collecting them – it’s so easy to do. :)

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  16. What an interesting idea for a challenge! Looking back over these two posts, you now have me curious as to what books (children's or otherwise) were published in my birth year.

    I'm off to Google it....

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    1. Have fun Kelly, hope you find something interesting.

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  17. She wrote so many books I didn't know about! The only one I found familiar (dearly) was Malory Towers. Solely based on cover illustration style, the child-me would have picked "The Third Holiday Book" and the now-me would pick "Tales after Tea" (who could resist, huh?)

    I hope you find your gems at book fairs and flea markets and such, Barbara. As a true book lover, you shall find what you're meant to find. The right books can't wait to fall across your eyes as well. Have fun seeking!

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    1. Hello Claudine, there are quite a few I didn’t know about as well and some I hadn’t seen before, which will make the challenge even more enjoyable. I hope you are right about the finding of them. I can hardly wait for the weather to warm up and my days out hunting to begin!
      I agree with both your choices. The holiday books are lovely and the artwork on Tales after tea is enough to make me long to read the stories.

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  18. These are all so completely charming! It's a big rush of nostalgia just to look at the covers. I'm glad they'll be a part of the Birth Year Reading Challenge this year!

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    1. Thank you and thank you for letting me join in, Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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