Oh, Golly, What a Happy Family! Trajectories of Citizenship and Agency in Three Twentieth-Century Book Series for Children
This article explores three British picture-book series that were created out of children’s playthings: Florence and Bertha Upton’s Dutch Doll and Golliwogg series, Enid Blyton’s Noddy series, and Allan Ahlberg’s Happy Families series. These series span the twentieth century, giving snapshots of politically and culturally charged intersections between childhood and citizenship. Considered together, they highlight a narrowing in scope of agency from notions of global citizenship early in the century to local, community-based citizenship rooted in village authority, economic ties, and fiscal responsibility at mid-century to citizenship based on familial interests and the social family unit at the end of the century.