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The Ladybird Books Story: How Britain Got The Reading Bug


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  • Comment number 33. Posted by Ava McGregor

    17 Feb 2014 14:09
    I am trying to find a ladybird book, but in this case it is not one of those discussed in the programme. I think this was published by the ladybird clothing manufacturers in the early 1960’s. From memory it was a colourful A4 book and it showed how insects make cloth and the dye to make the material. I have been in contact with ladybird cloathing, but no luck.
    It was not a traditional ladybird book but I wanted to know if anyone has come across it so they could give me some more details of the publisher.
  • Comment number 32. Posted by U14590141

    17 Jan 2014 15:08
    Important message to Bridget, post 12 above.

    How wonderful to read your post, though sad, about your mother.
    I have the edition which your mum illustrated, it's one of my life's treasures!!
    And I have ALWAYS ALWAYS considered these illustrations far superior to the later edition which they featured in this programme. So disappointing. Her pictures were truly gorgeous, my children have also loved them, and when Diana married Charles we immediately said she'd based the design of her dress on that of my Cinderella, it's almost identical!
  • Comment number 31. Posted by U15350550

    5 Jan 2014 15:50
    I was brought up on Ladybird books as well. I have in my mind the one on the Lords Prayer and in the bit "for ever and ever" the picture is a small boy in a meadow and the daffodils stretch out for ever and that has etched itself in my mind. The books were excellent to read. There were many books on many subjects and it seems that you don't now get parents saying to children that this is what tree this is, or what plant this was. They need to be reintroduced so that children know the world around them. and not just how to press a button on a mechanical device.
  • Comment number 30. Posted by GeorgieGirl

    4 Jan 2014 14:22
    Bridget I loved your mother's illustrations. I have those three books, I would love to know, did she illustrate anyhing else, can't seem to find out.
  • Comment number 29. Posted by U15974340

    3 Jan 2014 20:02
    I was entranced by this programme. I was fortunate to work with Bill Murray when he was a head teacher in Cheltenham. Such memories! Well done to everyone who helped to make such a beautifully presented programme.
  • Comment number 28. Posted by FishyFishArcade

    3 Jan 2014 15:20
    Only just got around to watching the programme today. I'd just like to say thanks to all involved. As is the standard for BBC4, it was a beautifully produced piece.

    As with many, my own collection will have disappeared as I grew out of them, so I now just have a few that I've picked up here and there (odd how you grow back into things as you get older :)), including a nice copy of Tootles the Taxi, which is perhaps the best remembered of the ones I had as a child. The price on the book is 40p, so it's obviously a more recent printing.

    One thing that really snags my nostalgia strings is the fact that in one of the Key Words series I bought for my own children a few years back (a recent printing of it) there is an illustration of a toy shop which has a couple of the Tonka toys I owned as a child in the 1970s clearly depicted in the window display. Lovely.

    Once again, thanks for this. It was excellent.
  • Comment number 27. Posted by U15973454

    2 Jan 2014 14:22
    Really enjoyed the programme, it brought back many memories, the Green Umbrella still remains one of my favourite books!

    At Maidstone Museum we love the Ladybird books so much that from 11th January - 11th May we will be running an exhibition featuring some of the original artwork from the books!

    It is called 'A Ladybird Childhood' and draws upon the vintage archive collection of original illustrations and will take you on a nostalgic journey to your own ladybird childhood.

    We will also be running half term craft workshops & storytelling events for families & children throughout the exhibition.
  • Comment number 26. Posted by U15972944

    1 Jan 2014 19:19
    Enjoyed this wee tribute to Ladybirds... however as a serious collector i.e. pedant.. I have to point out that two of the illustrations attributed to John Kenney were in fact very obviously Frank Hampson's who illustrated only 2 of the history series books . Henry V pg 44 Kings and Queens and... well I'll let fellow LBers work it out!....
  • Comment number 25. Posted by Auntyflossie

    29 Dec 2013 20:02
    Hello. Being a Ladybird collector myself I just loved the program. For some time I have been thinking of setting up a Ladybird Facebook Group and now I have gone and done it. It is called the "Ladybird Book Swap Club" . I hope that Ladybird collectors will find it and we can all share in this fascinating hobby and maybe swap some of our books. I don't like selling any of my books even though I have many duplicates but I would be quite happy to swap some of them.
    You have to be a Facebook user to join but if you are just type the name of the group into the search box and when there click on join now. Hope to meet you soon.
  • Comment number 24. Posted by Helen Day

    28 Dec 2013 18:49
    I would love to hear from you, Carl. You could contact me via my Ladybird Books website, mentioned above. I am always keen to hear from anyone with memories of the artists and writers or experience of the original Loughborough print works.

    I think what came through very clearly in the Timeshift programme was, as Mandi and Sue say, how many careers and hobbies were sparked off through a fascination with a book or illustration.

    I also think there's a lot more to cover about the artists than there was time for in this programme, Justin. So much about Ladybird artwork looks simple - as if anyone could do it. But it really isn't.