Challenge: Write a clerihew about the children’s author Enid Blyton (1897 –1968) without referring to Noddy – perhaps her most famous creation. For extra points, use words that rhyme with “Noddy” in the verse.
Blyton – the fifth most translated author in the world, according to Wikipedia – wrote many other books as well: the Faraway Tree books, the Magic Wishing Chair series, and of course the Famous Five and Secret Seven series, to name just a few.
Earlier this year, there was a fuss kicked up in the United Kingdom about the intention of Blyton’s publishers to update the language used in Blyton’s Famous Five series. No longer will the four children – and Timmy the dog – use expressions such as mercy me!, fellow and it’s all very peculiar. They will be replaced respectively by oh no!, old man and it’s all very strange. You can argue that some changes have been forced on the publishers by the changing times – for example, the words gay and queer, which Blyton used many years ago in a more traditional sense, now carry far different connotations.
It’s actually quite easy to use Enid Blyton’s own words against her. I remember a re-issue of Blyton’s Noddy books many years ago, where some wag placed two specific titles side-by-side on the display shelf: they were Noddy and the Magic Rubber and Noddy Gets Into Trouble….