Ladybird Books

Updates: Ladybird exhibition in Bexhill, then on to London with a talk from John Grindrod, all to celebrate Ladybird’s centenary. See another paean and Ladybird, the book, then, finally! Ladybird books introduce Peter and Jane to hipsters and hangovers, critiqued by Zoe Williams. More: Helen MacDonald revisits What to look for in winter.

Inspired by a recent Timeshift programme on The Ladybird Books story: how Britain got the reading bug I had a look on my bookshelves and found I have:

  • Lives of the great composers 1 (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) and 2 (Handel, Haydn, Schubert), from series 662, 1969
  • Flight 1: Australia (1958), Flight 2: Canada (1959), Flight 4: India (1960). from series 587,  the Ladybird Book of Travel Adventure, 1960 (these were originally my brother’s, or perhaps even inherited from older cousins)

What else did we have? Certainly What to look for in… and others from the nature series (pics), which I’m annoyed I didn’t keep and am almost tempted to get my hands on via one of several Ladybird fanatics, such as Ladybird Fly Away Home or The Wee Web.

What a lot of text though! Here’s a pic from Dirty Modern Scoundrel’s imaginary Ladybird Book of Modernism (more):

Update, 22 June: similar were the Observer’s book series, which Wikipedia tells me were published from 1937-2003. I have our copies of trees and wildflowers, plus an early treasure, the Observer’s book of dogs.

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