Not all Kid's Books are Morality Tales

The Adventures Of Binkle And Flip - Enid Blyton

This is a collection of short children's stories that were originally written in and around 1925 but have later been published as a collection. The stories are about a couple of con-bunnies (I can't really say con-men because first of all that would be sexist, and secondly they are not human, they are bunnies). In fact, pretty much all of the stories (with the exception of a couple) are about how they get up to mischief, and also about schemes in which they go out and try to make money for themselves.

This is clear right from the first story where Binkle (who seems to be the brains of the operations) manages to get himself hired as a nanny for a couple of foxes (which no doubt will end up quite badly because we all know that foxes like to eat bunnies) but they do end up escaping (with the money as well). Then there is another really clever trick where they get an empty piece of canvas, put a frame around it, and claim that it is a magic painting that only smart people can see, and because nobody wants to admit that they are stupid, they all claim to be able to see the picture, but only comment on the sky (and the hedgehog) because that is the only thing that everybody agrees is on the painting (and they don't want to suggest that there is something that is not on the painting because that will expose their stupidity).

There is also the other scam where Binkle is asked to look after his uncle's medicine shop, so to try to increase the profits, Flip disguises himself as a doctor and prescribes things from the shop, and when the remedies have the opposite effect (like turning people green) the doctor mysteriously disappears, and Binkle pleads innocence (and gets away with it) because he was only filling out prescriptions that the doctor was issuing (who has now conveniently disappeared).

The last story in the book though has the tables turned on Binkle and Flip where the Weasel (who is also the local police officer) tricks them and makes a complete fool of them, which results in them putting aside their evil ways and becoming good bunnies again.

I have suggested this before in some of Blyton's other books which run along the same themes, and that is that I really do not like the books where the protagonists are naughty and have them actually get away with their hair-brained schemes. This book is no different, though I must admit that I liked the fact that they were little more than a couple of con-bunnies. Mind you, some of Blyton's books simply have a rather stupid character (such as Mr Pinkwhistle and Mr Meddle) getting into trouble because, well, the character is just plain stupid. However it is clear that Binkle and Flip don't fall into that category.

One of the things that I liked about this book is that I discovered a new animal named a polecat. I had never heard of a polecat before, and I gather from this book that polecats are generally not liked. So, what I did what I always do when I want to find something out and that is that I go to Wikipedia (as one generally does when one does not know something) and discovered that a polecat looks like this:




Anyway, if you don't know what a polecat is (and sometimes a picture doesn't actually tell you what it is, only what it looks like) then you can find out more here, but what I can say is that they are from the same family as ferrets and weasels (and possibly meercats, but I can't say for certain). Anyway, I also learned that they are sort of like skunks, which is probably why people don't like them.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/793285617