Noggin the Nog – Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin

When I was a small child we used to go to the library every week to choose what we were going to read the following week.  I think we went to the library because it was a challenge, both in terms of cost and storage space, to keep me with sufficient books to read.

In my pre-school and nursery school days the Noggin the Nog series was a particular favourite.  I adored the pictures and loved listening to how Noggin, Nooka, Knut and Graculus were going to defeat Nogbad the Bad.

I didn’t realise until we were talking in the office that it had been a TV series before it was a series of books.  In my defence the series was before I was born!  What I did realise from the chat in the office was that I wanted to have a look at these books again to see if they were as good as I remembered them.

Unfortunately, books from the original series, published in the late 1960s, that I read as a child are ridiculously expensive, even by my standards, so I bought a modern boxed set of all 12 books and settled down for a good read.

And they were a good read.  I spent the weekend rereading all 12 books.

I enjoyed looking at the familiar pictures and remembering how exciting it was when I was little to look at the front picture and chat about what we thought the story was going to be about.

I found the characters to be engaging although, as an adult, you can see how Noggin isn’t always the hero and the good people sometimes do bad things.   I also liked that some of the characters aren’t what you expect them to be, such as the Ice Dragon and the Omruds.

Mostly the evil deeds of Nogbad are silly and amusing but I did think the pink flowers that took over the town were a bit scary.  I don’t remember reading this one as a child and I suspect it’s because my parents knew it was likely to give me nightmares.

My favourite of the stories was The Blackwash.  It caught me out and made me laugh at myself for being so foolish!

One thing I have learned from rereading Noggin is that sometimes it’s good to revisit your past and relive simpler times.  It can surprise you and enchant you all over again.

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