Wombles story books

Children’s author Elisabeth Beresford had the idea for The Wombles while walking on Wimbledon Common with her children, Kate and Marcus. At the time she lived in south London, though she later moved to Alderney, one of the Channel Islands off the north coast of France. She’d previously written a series of books about magic.

The original 1968 hardback book, simply titled The Wombles, was illustrated by Margaret Gordon with the Wombles looking like teddy bears – brown and furry, mostly not wearing clothes. The Puffin paperback in 1972 used the same illustrations. But for the paperback of The Wandering Wombles in 1974, Puffin used new illustrations by Margaret Gordon, “drawn from Ivor Wood’s original film puppets”.

In 1975, Barry Leith took over as illustrator, continuing with the new-look Wombles based on the TV series. For the 1990 editions, Walker Books kept the same illustrations, but with new covers by Edgar Hodges.

Brand new editions with fresh illustrations by Nick Price were released by Bloomsbury Publishing in November 2010, January 2011 and March 2011.

All of the following are UK editions.


The Wombles

The Wombles - Puffin The Wombles - Walker The Wombles - Bloomsbury

First published by Ernest Benn 1968
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1968

Published by Puffin Books 1972
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1968
ISBN 0 14 03.0572 6

Published by Walker Books 1990
Illustrated by Barry Leith 1975
Cover by Edgar Hodges 1990
ISBN 0 7445 1733 8

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2010
Illustrated by Nick Price 2010
ISBN 978-1-4088-0837-5

Galaxy Plus large print edition licensed and published by AudioGO Ltd
by arrangement with Bloomsbury Publishing 2011
Illustrated by Nick Price 2010
ISBN 978-1-4056-6482-0

Puffin Books: “The Wombles live under Wimbledon Common, and it is their special responsibility to ‘tidy up’ everything that untidy Human Beings leave behind them.”

Walker Books: “Here they are, the tidy inhabitants of Wimbledon Common whose exploits have delighted readers and TV viewers for years. Meet Great Uncle Bulgaria, the white-furred chief Womble; handyman Tobermory, who turns people’s litter into the most amazingly useful things; Tomsk, the golfing Womble; tubby Orinoco, who loves food and forty winks; Madame Cholet, the cook, and last but by no means least, young Bungo, who’s just about to go out on the Common alone for the first time…”

Bloomsbury: “The Wombles live in a warm and cosy burrow beneath Wimbledon Common. They like nothing better than a good tidy-up and luckily the Wombles’ burrow is the perfect place to sort and recycle all the rubbish that careless Human Beings leave behind! One day, two of the younger Wombles, Bungo and Orinoco, venture on to the Common for the first time. Large and noisy dogs and dangerously windy weather are just the beginning of many adventures!”

  1. Bungo
  2. Orinoco and the black umbrella
  3. The tree that moved
  4. Tomsk hangs on
  5. Bungo and the concrete mixer
  6. Orinoco and the rabbit hole
  7. The Christmas party and Mr D. Smith
  8. The snow Womble
  9. Orinoco and the chocolate cake
  10. Bungo’s great adventure
  11. Yellowstone Womble
  12. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s day out
  13. Tobermory’s surprise and the Midsummer party

The Wandering Wombles

The Wandering Wombles - Puffin The Wandering Wombles - Walker The Wandering Wombles - Bloomsbury

First published by Ernest Benn 1970

Published by Puffin Books 1974
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1974
ISBN 0 14 03.0653 6

Published by Walker Books 1990
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1974
Cover by Edgar Hodges 1990
ISBN 0 7445 1737 0

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2010
Illustrated by Nick Price 2010
ISBN 978-1-4088-0833-7

Puffin Books: “‘We shall have to move,’ said Great Uncle Bulgaria simply, looking his old friend steadily in the face. ‘Move? Us?’ said Tobermory. ‘But we’ve lived under Wimbledon Common for hundreds of years. There’ve been burrows here since any Womble can remember. It’s unthinkable.’ But their home was being shaken to pieces, so scouting parties were sent into strange country seeking for a new home.”

Walker Books: “Here they are again, the tidy inhabitants of Wimbledon Common whose exploits have delighted readers and TV viewers for years. When building work threatens the Wombles’ burrow, Great Uncle Bulgaria decides it’s time to move. Orinoco and Bungo are sent off on a top secret scouting mission to Scotland where they meet the fierce Clan Wombles. Meanwhile, Wellington and Tomsk find themselves exploring the gardens of a Very Important Person indeed!”

Bloomsbury: “The Wombles live in a warm and cosy burrow beneath Wimbledon Common. They like nothing better than a good tidy-up and luckily the Wombles’ burrow is the perfect place to sort and recycle all the rubbish that careless Human Beings leave behind! Bungo and Orinoco have been chosen by Great Uncle Bulgaria for a dangerous and exciting task. The Wombles’ beautiful burrow is under threat. It is up to Orinoco and Bungo to find a new home for the Wombles – and fast!”

  1. The enormous lorry
  2. O W W
  3. Fresh fields and pastures new
  4. The great adventure
  5. Captured
  6. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s great idea
  7. Tomsk and Wellington set out
  8. The MacWomble
  9. Nessie
  10. Wellington’s discovery
  11. Troubles
  12. Bungo is happy again
  13. The Wandering Wombles
  14. The new burrow
  15. Great Uncle Bulgaria looks ahead

The Invisible Womble And Other Stories

The Invisible Womble - Puffin The Invisible Womble - Bloomsbury

First published by Puffin Books (Young Puffin) 1973
Illustrated by Ivor Wood 1973
ISBN 0 14 03.0602 1

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2011
Illustrated by Nick Price 2011
ISBN 978-1-4088-0834-4

Puffin Books: “Here are Bungo, Great Uncle Bulgaria and all the other Wombles, hard at work tidying up Wimbledon Common. These adventures are taken from the popular television series and show them at their funniest and best.”

Bloomsbury: “There is always lots going on when it comes to the Wombles! First there is the mystery of the scary and sinister purple pawprints. Then there is the problem of how to encourage Orinoco to do a little less snoozing and a little more tidying up. And then there is Tobermory, expert handyman, who is trying to keep the burrow clean and dust-free. But has he got his new invention quite right?”

  1. Introduction
  2. The Purple Paw Mystery
  3. Peep-peep-peep
  4. The Invisible Womble
  5. A Breath of Fresh Air
  6. Bungo’s Birthday Surprise

The Wombles At Work

The Wombles At Work - Puffin The Wombles At Work - Walker The Wombles At Work - Bloomsbury

First published by Ernest Benn 1973

Published by Puffin Books 1975
Illustrated by Barry Leith 1975
ISBN 0 14 03.0794 X

Published by Walker Books 1990
Illustrated by Barry Leith 1976
(Note: ‘1976’ appears to be an error, as the illustrations are the same as the 1975 Puffin edition.)
Cover by Edgar Hodges 1990
ISBN 0 7445 1745 1

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2011
Illustrated by Nick Price 2011
ISBN 978-1-4088-0836-8

Puffin Books: “‘If Human Beings are so silly that they want to poison themselves, that’s their affair,’ said Tobermory crossly, but Great Uncle Bulgaria had been reading about pollution in The Times and saw the Wombles dying with the Humans, unless they took an energetic paw in the battle for conservation…”

Walker Books: “The Wombles and their tidying-up exploits have been delighting readers and TV viewers for years. Now living in a burrow under London’s Hyde Park, the Wombles face a very difficult problem – pollution! Great Uncle Bulgaria offers a gold medal for the best solution and Bungo, Wellington, Tomsk, Orinoco and all the other Wombles are soon busily at work. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger looks on…”

Bloomsbury: “The Wombles have moved to a new burrow that they like very much, but the Human Beings nearby certainly drop a lot of litter! The Wombles have their work cut out for them. And then a stranger starts leaving mysterious notes, signed ‘OW’. Great Uncle Bulgaria doubles the Daywatch Womble Guard. But who could this stranger be – and how do they know where the Wombles live?”

  1. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s great idea
  2. Tomsk and the sick swan
  3. The vanishing tidy-bags
  4. Chewy-crunchy-chocky
  5. Things that go ‘woooo’ in the night
  6. Thin ice
  7. Bungo meets more than his match
  8. Wellington mixes things
  9. The mysterious OW
  10. Dandelion omelette
  11. Emergency! – Red Alert!
  12. The Gold Medal winner

The Wombles To The Rescue

The Wombles To The Rescue - Walker The Wombles To The Rescue - Bloomsbury

First published by Ernest Benn 1974
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1974

Published by Puffin Books 1977
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1974

Published by Walker Books 1990
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon 1974
Cover by Edgar Hodges 1990
ISBN 0 7445 1746 X

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2011
Illustrated by Nick Price 2011
ISBN 978-1-4088-0838-2

Walker Books: “The Wombles and their tidying-up exploits have delighted readers and TV viewers for many years. Now they’ve moved back from Hyde Park to Wimbledon Common, but spirits are low – for the amount of litter has fallen and Womble supplies are shrinking. Great Uncle Bulgaria is called to a crisis meeting in America and Bungo goes with him. So it’s left to Tobermory, Wellington, Orinoco, Tomsk and a very odd Womble called Cousin Botany to try and save the day!”

Bloomsbury: “The Human Beings are cutting down the trees, brambles and flowers on the Common, and the Wombles’ supplies are running low – even of favourites such as bramble jelly and dandelion buns! The Wombles will need to use all their ingenuity to find delicious food to eat.”

  1. Great Uncle Bulgaria gets a letter
  2. Tobermory sees trouble ahead
  3. Wellington vanishes
  4. The Grey Wolf of Wimbledon Common
  5. Great Uncle Bulgaria sends a letter
  6. Cousin Botany’s secret
  7. Tomsk has an idea
  8. Miss Adelaide puts her foot down
  9. The big splash
  10. Orinoco on television
  11. Remember you’re a Womble

The Wonderful World Of The Wombles

The Wonderful World Of The Wombles - Puffin

Published by Penguin Books (Puffin Books) 1975

Box set containing three paperbacks:

  • The Wombles
  • The Wandering Wombles
  • The Wombles At Work

The Wombles Gift Book

The Wombles Gift Book - Puffin

Published by Puffin Books 1975
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon
ISBN 0 14 03.0857 1

“Here are five new stories about the Wombles’ year – and a very full year it is too… There is always something happening, whether it’s Orinoco trying to dodge an extra bit of tidying up on a hot summer’s afternoon, or the Great Womble Excursion to the Channel Islands to give Great Uncle Bulgaria a much needed holiday. There are lots of things for you to do as well, as Wellington shows how to make an indoor garden, Tobermory demonstrates some practical magic and the MacWomble tells the secret of a very special old Womble recipe.”

Stories:

  • The MacWomble’s Story
  • Wellington Almost Meets His Waterloo
  • Orinoco and the Daisy-Chain Gang
  • Great Uncle Bulgaria Flies High
  • A Merry Wombling Christmas

Features:

  • MacWomble Shortbread
  • Practical Magic
  • Wellington Plans for Spring
  • Operation Overground
  • Seaside Assortment

The Wombles Go Round The World

The Wombles Go Round The World - Ernest Benn The Wombles Go Round The World - Bloomsbury

First published by Ernest Benn 1976
Illustrated by Margaret Gordon
ISBN 0 510 09608 5

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2011
Illustrated by Nick Price 2011
ISBN 978-1-4088-0835-1

Ernest Benn: “There have been Wombles on Wimbledon Common as far back as anyone can remember (and that, of course, is a very long time indeed). Great Uncle Bulgaria is very fond of reading aloud the old stories out of The Great Womble History Of The World, about all the things that happened when he was a young Womble and Queen Victoria was on the throne. But the trouble is that the young Wombles are beginning to get just a little bit bored with them. So, being a wise old Womble, he plans a new, exciting trip especially for them and a new chapter in Womble history which will be all about their adventures.

“Tobermory invents a revolutionary clockwork balloon and two by two, Orinoco, Bungo, Tomsk and Wellington set off to discover the unwritten history of the Womble world. They find burrows as far apart as California and Tibet, not to mention their most honourable cousin Tokyo Womble and that determined and unconventional relative, Great-Great Aunt M Murrumbidgee Womble in the blue gum forests of Australia.

“There is danger, too, in their trip, but needless to say, back in the Wimbledon burrow, Great Uncle Bulgaria, Tobermory, Madame Cholet and all the other Wombles are keeping a careful eye on the situation, not to mention planning a few surprises of their own…”

Bloomsbury: “Great Uncle Bulgaria loves telling the younger Wombles all about the history of the many Womble clans. But the young Wombles find this rather boring! So Tobermory invents two clever clockwork air balloons and four young Wombles are sent on the adventure of a lifetime – around the world!”

1.  Once upon a time
2.  Back to school
3.  He flies through the air
4.  One, two, three, GO!
4½.  Silence
5.  The ‘Gingerbread’ Burrow
6.  Yellow sky at night
6½.  Something awful, dreadful and horrible
7.  Lost . . .
8.  . . . and found
8½.  Crossed lines
9.  Chinatown
10.  Great-Great Aunt M. Murrumbidgee
11.  Crackers, balloons and kites
12.  ‘Ah-roo-ah-roo-ah-roo’
12½.  Welcome home


The Wombles Of Wimbledon

The Wombles Of Wimbledon - Book Club Associates

Published by Book Club Associates by arrangement with Ernest Benn 1976
Jacket illustration by Barry Leith
CN 3182

Containing The Wombles At Work and The Wombles To The Rescue

“The Wombles of Wimbledon are now famous – something which makes Great Uncle Bulgaria very proud, although he would never admit it to the younger Wombles in case it went to their heads – and here, collected in one volume, are all their adventures from The Wombles At Work and The Wombles To The Rescue. These are some of the stories that made them firm favourites with children all over the world.

“There is the time they were living in Hyde Park, and the burrow was faced with the Great Pollution Problem; for as Great Uncle Bulgaria sensibly said, ‘If we Wombles don’t do something, I don’t know what will happen’. But fighting Pollu is not all difficulties and danger, there is a lot of fun too, as Orinoco discovers a very special use for a giant mangle, and Wellington invents an amazing disappearing liquid, while Bungo decides that being a Womble is really the best thing of all.

“Back on Wimbledon Common, the Wombles find that there is a mysterious shortage of rubbish; but even without Great Uncle Bulgaria, the young Wombles are full of ideas. There is the oil-rig on Queen’s Mere – which is perhaps not quite as successful as it might be – Orinoco’s remarkable interview on television and above all, Cousin Botany’s ambitious plans for a completely new food supply…”


The Wombles – Take Part Series

The Wombles - Take Part Series

Published by Ward Lock Educational 1977, reprinted 1987
Adapted by Sheila Lane and Marion Kemp from the story by Elisabeth Beresford
Illustrations by Priscilla Lamont
ISBN 0 7062 3604 1

“The aim of Take Part books is to give children who are at a vital stage in their reading development the opportunity to get pleasurable experience and practice. Take Part reading books are so structured that children who are at different levels within this reading range can all read together, regardless of their chronological age. They are thus given not only a chance to develop their reading skills, but also valuable experience in collaborating with other children of different abilities and ages.”

  1. Bungo’s First Working Day on Wimbledon Common
  2. Under Wimbledon Common After the Storm
  3. The Wombles Find a Concrete Mixer
  4. Orinoco and the Rabbit Hole
  5. Great Uncle Bulgaria and the Snow Womble
  6. The Midsummer Night Party

Wombling Free

Wombling Free - Puffin

First published by Puffin Books 1978
Illustrated by Edgar Hodges 1978
ISBN 0 14 03.1109 2

Published simultaneously in hardcover by Ernest Benn 1978

Based on Ian Shand’s production of the film Wombling Free for Rank Film Distributors Limited. Written and directed by Lionel Jeffries, screenplay consultant Elisabeth Beresford.

“How can the Wombles, whose job it is to keep Earth tidy, persuade Human Beings that they really exist, and that their message about cleaning up the world is desperately important?”

  1. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s words of warning
  2. Bungo makes a new friend
  3. Tobermory’s food machine
  4. The Wombles in danger
  5. Buttercup ice cream
  6. Bungo goes out to tea
  7. The MacWomble arrives and . . .
  8. . . . gets a big surprise
  9. The Wombles are asked to a party
  10. Wombling free