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Ladybird books

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Ladybird books

Postby Droitwich Lloyd » 25 Nov 2006, 20:48

Does anyone else here like Ladybird books?
Beautifully illustrated, and with series' covering anything from natural history (my favourite), to traditional kiddies stories, through to the 'How it works' series, which tells the reader, in a delightful way, how industry in the '50's/'60's work.
Beautiful little books, they really are a part of British heritage.
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 25 Nov 2006, 21:12

[Droitwich:] "Does anyone else here like Ladybird books?"

I love them!

[Droitwich:] "Beautiful little books, they really are a part of British heritage."

Agree completely. Some of my favourites are the fairy-tales illustrated by Eric Winter (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc) and the Ned the Lonely Donkey series illustrated by P. B. Hickling. What to Look for in Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter is another favourite set. Science books like Light, Mirrors and Lenses and history books like King Alfred the Great have helped my children with school projects and taught me a few things too!

Anita
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Postby Droitwich Lloyd » 25 Nov 2006, 21:33

I've just re-bought the complete 'What to look for' series, along with 'The Night Sky' and some other delightful books.
Yes, I too love the animal series with 'Five Little Kittens' being my favourite, and 'Tiptoes-the Mischievous Kitten' being the most lovely book, and beautifully illustrated, you could wish to find.

Great to find another enthusiast!
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Postby Stephen » 26 Nov 2006, 11:07

This year, I've actually acquired the following on ebay...

The Three Billy-goats Gruff (1968)
The Gingerbread Boy (1966)
The Magic Porridge Pot (1971)
The Elves and the Shoemaker (1965)
Ladybird Leaders: Big Animals (1975)

All bringing back delightful childhood memories. The illustrations in these books are exceptionally good. Other outstanding ones I need to get are
Sleeping Beauty, The Enormous Turnip and The Sly Fox and the Little Red Hen. Some of these stories could actually be quite violent.

I also had a few factual Ladybirds. Such as Ladybird Leaders: Trains. And books about the Night Sky, teaching yourself to swim and magic tricks. Also, come to think of it, a science fiction book by noted astronomer Fred Hoyle called The Frozen Planet of Azuron.

I wish I hadn't opened this thread now. I'm probably going to be spending all day on ebay! Thanks anyway for jogging such happy memories.
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Postby Droitwich Lloyd » 26 Nov 2006, 12:53

And they're really inexpensive to buy, yet so enjoyable, and as you say, some of the children's stories don't pull any punches. 'Puss in Boots' for instance, potrays the cat as a very manipulative creature, who thinks nothing of slaying, to get what he wants!
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Postby Tony Summerfield » 26 Nov 2006, 14:02

I am also a Ladybird enthusiast, but two of the series I particularly like were both published in the 1940s and copies are not that cheap. Series 474 Tasseltip Tales were written by Dorothy Richards and illustrated by Ernest Aris, who did quite a bit of illustrating for Enid. My other series is Series 417 The Adventures of Wonk. These were written by Muriel Levy and illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe.

I have picked up quite a few other series as well, but prefer the earlier copies in dustwrappers. Did you know that there are even a couple of Enid Blyton Ladybird books, but these are much more recent publications.

Best wishes
Tony
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 27 Nov 2006, 22:41

Good to see a number of literary coleopterists here (who says Enid Blyton never exposed her readers to "big words"?!)

Most of my Ladybird books are the kind with illustrated boards, which I've either kept from childhood or picked up in charity shops, and I've never come across any Adventures of Wonk or other rare titles. My Tasseltips are the later versions, re-titled and re-written by Sarah Cotton in the 1970s. Interesting that the original author was Dorothy Richards. Not the same Dorothy Richards who was friendly with Enid Blyton, I suppose? (Unlikely, since Dorothy Richards was probably a very common name at that time.)

Stephen, I have the Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle Science Fiction series, which was published in 1982. There are four titles in the set altogether, the first being The Energy Pirate. Interesting and unusual stories.

I agree, Droitwich, that Tiptoes the Mischievous Kitten is a beautiful book. I love the very first picture, showing a man coming home (from work?) in a suit and hat, pushing open a green-painted gate. His wife is sitting in a chair on the lawn, sewing, while their curly-haired baby crawls on a rug at her feet. In the background are a green-painted bench and a row of hollyhocks. For me, that scene epitomizes middle-class British life of that era.

I was excited a few years ago to find that the Tiptoes the Mischievous Kitten series contained four more titles I hadn't heard of before. Six books had been reprinted as illustrated board editions and I knew of those, but I'd never heard of the following titles that had only ever been released in buff boards with dust-jackets:

The Inquisitive Harvest Mouse
The Conceited Lamb
Cocky, the Lazy Rooster
The Sleepy Water Vole
.

Copies in good condition are hard to find and expensive, but I managed to find some shabby (externally) copies without dust-jackets for a few pounds (or 20p in one case!) and was delighted. The Inquisitive Harvest Mouse is particularly attractive, with exquisitely-drawn pictures. Does anyone else have these?

Anita
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Nov 2006, 12:02

Hi Anita,

I haven't got The Sleepy Water Vole, but I have the other three titles that you mention. I am sure you have found it for yourself, but one of the joys of the internet is that you can often see pics of books that you are looking for - http://www.ladybirdbookcollector.co.uk/index.htm - is a very good Ladybird site and you can see the Wonk books on that.

Most of my Ladybirds have been picked up at Charity/Jumble/Car Boots at very cheap prices, but some of the early 400 Series are now very expensive and highly collectable. If you are picturing my house as being cluttered with Children's books, you are absolutely right - I have thousands :roll: :roll: :roll:

I particularly like the two Racey Helps Barnaby Series - I don't know if you know them?

Best wishes
Tony
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Nov 2006, 12:21

[Tony:] "I haven't got The Sleepy Water Vole, but I have the other three titles that you mention."

Gosh - I've actually got a book that Tony doesn't have! :o :lol:

[Tony:] "If you are picturing my house as being cluttered with Children's books, you are absolutely right - I have thousands"

Sounds great to me. Nothing furnishes a house more attractively than a few well-stocked bookshelves.

[Tony:] "I particularly like the two Racey Helps Barnaby Series - I don't know if you know them?"

I've visited a couple of Ladybird sites in the past but I've never heard of those. I'll take a look later at the site you mentioned, Tony. Thanks for that.

That's what's so great about being a bookworm - there's always more to learn, explore and discover about the books themselves as well as within their pages!

Anita
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Postby Tony Summerfield » 28 Nov 2006, 17:57

I am sure you have lots of books that I haven't got, Anita! In the last five years I have only really bought modern children's books, but prior to that I was mostly collecting books from the 40s and 50s.

I have expressed myself badly over the Racey Helps books they are not Ladybird books at all, but I love the illustrations in them.

Image

This is Barnaby setting up home with his girlfriend Millicent!

Best wishes
Tony
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Postby Viking Star » 28 Nov 2006, 20:32

Image

Tony Summerfield wrote:

"This is Barnaby setting up home with his girlfriend Millicent!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


His girlfriend? Is there a baby in that carrycot? :shock:

I have to say Barnaby is looking rather fondly in that direction!

I assume this isn't an updated version? :wink:
This is a Green Knight Book which means that it is a book by one of the most popular authors of all.
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Postby Droitwich Lloyd » 28 Nov 2006, 20:40

Great to see many like-minded enthusiasts!

Anita, I do so agree about the illustration you mention, it's utterly delightful, and does indeed, evoke images of early post war Britain, and the slow, soft pace of life in that era.
Actually, there is a discrepencey within the illustrations in that book, do you know what? :D
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Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Nov 2006, 22:50

I had a look at the site you mentioned, Tony, and read about the Wonk books and other titles. I found the Wonk cover designs charming, especially the "Circus" one. Some of the stories sound quite comical from the summaries given on the site, especially "The Diamond Ring Affair" and "Going to Sea."

I like the illustration from the Racey Helps book but, like Viking Star, I also raised an eyebrow at Barnaby and his girlfriend Millicent setting up home together - along with their baby! Very forward for that era! (And surely Barnaby shouldn't be smoking near the baby - tut tut! :lol: )

Droitwich, I have to admit I've never noticed any discrepancies in the illustrations in Tiptoes the Mischievous Kitten. Do tell! I have noticed some in other Ladybird books though - I'll list them on here when I have the time.

Anita
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Postby Droitwich Lloyd » 29 Nov 2006, 09:47

Anita, when Mrs Moffat decides to cut up the old matress, and use the down for pillows, she is wearing black stockings and plain brown shoes, however, in the next illustration, Mrs Moffat's attire has changed to light brown stockings, and sandal type shoes!
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Postby Tony Summerfield » 29 Nov 2006, 11:47

Anita Bensoussane wrote:I like the illustration from the Racey Helps book but, like Viking Star, I also raised an eyebrow at Barnaby and his girlfriend Millicent setting up home together - along with their baby! Very forward for that era! (And surely Barnaby shouldn't be smoking near the baby - tut tut! :lol: )


Oh dear, it looks like a bit of premarital in a children's book :oops: I am not actually sure that the crib is occupied, but after remarks from you both I thought I had better read the book again! He marries her in the last three lines of the book, so presumably the picture is looking ahead as it goes on to say that they had numerous children as they dwelt in happiness together - and they only have the one crib :P

Best wishes
Tony
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