Ladybird Ladybird


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The first Ladybird Book that ever came into my possession was ‘Going To School’.

I received this book (I think) as a leaving gift from the play school I attended before entering the world of education proper at the age of five. Given the fact I have almost no memories before the age of about twelve (which gives some credence to the fact that I may have been raised by wolves) it’s difficult to confirm the facts of this matter other than with reference to the inscription on the inside cover, which does seem to corroborate this assertion.

Almost forty years or so later I’ve added to the collection and in fact at the last count have just over seven hundred Ladybird books. To be honest although the numbers involved would suggest otherwise I’m quite a low rent collector, in so much that most of the books I own have been gleaned from charity shops or car boot sales, and whilst it’s always nice to pick up the occasional pristine first edition I’m more than happy to add a book that shows that it’s been well received by its previous owner, or at the very least signed by John Craven.

So given my predilection for the work of Wills & Hepworth I’m pleased to say that tonight on the mighty BBC4 they are showing a documentary called ‘The Ladybird Books Story – The Bugs That Got Britain Reading’. And although I wasn’t asked to appear on the programme (being neither a celebrity or startlingly telegenic – although I am obviously a bit bitter) I have made a small somewhat ephemeral contribution that will no doubt have found it’s way on the cutting room floor. Though even with that said I still recommend you set aside an hour of your time this evening immersed in the wonderful world or Ladybird Books.

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