VINTAGE LADYBIRD BOOKS
Back in the day just about every child read at least one Ladybird book while in their pre-teen years. The books that I fondly remember are now being sold on eBay and Amazon as "vintage" books, which makes me feel very old indeed! Obviously, there were far too many of them to feature on this one page (both fiction and non-fiction), but I will take a nostalgic look back at a few of them, at least.
Well-Loved Tales - Easy-Reading Books
The Old Woman and her Pig told the tale of an old woman who finds a sixpence and buys a pig. However, trying to get the pig to jump over the style so they can get home proves to be more eventful than she wanted it to be!
Looking back through my old copy, the fairytale featured a surprising amount of violence, with the old lady wanting "the dog to bite the pig" and "the stick to beat the dog" etc. I would imagine that newer versions of this tale have written these parts out, with over-protective parents fearing that after reading it, children up and down the land will want to copy the old woman's actions.
As with all of the books in well-loved tales series, it featured beautiful full colour illustrations.
I certainly remember reading the Jack and the Beanstalk book above which was printed in 1971. Just looking at that cover again sends a shiver down my spine - that giant still scares the hell out of me!
This edition of Dick Whittington and his Cat (606d) was 15p. In the original story, Richard Whittington is a wealthy merchant and Lord Mayor of London from the 14th century, who gets rich from selling his cat to a country inundated with rats.
Puss in Boots
Snow-White and Rose-Red was printed in August 1969.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1987)
The Three Billy Goats Gruff (1987)
In 1976, Ladybird released its educational Key Sounds series, and featured here is Sounds and Pictures Book 1. I'm not entirely certain of how many books were released, although I have managed to find only five different ones on the web. Book 2 features penguins on the cover, Book 3 has an angry tiger, Book 4 features some oranges (boring!) and Book 5 features a passenger jet.
I believe there were 39 factual books in this series which was published between 1973 and 1979. I've listed the titles below together with a description of the covers in brackets;
1. water (sailboat)
2. ducks and swans (duck)
3. man in the air (chopper)
4. man and his car (racing car)
5. lions and tiger (male lion)
6. man on the sea (fisherman on his boat)
7. dinosaurs (T. Rex)
8. castles (a castle with soldiers on horseback)
9. baby animals (polar bear)
10. roads (yellow digger)
11. song birds (robin)
12. trains (locomotive)
13. bridges (railway bridge)
14. homes (city scape)
15. leaves (leaves and berries)
16. soldiers (soldier on a horse)
17. sounds (workmen in hard hats covering their ears)
18. big animals (rhino)
19. under the ground (erupting volcano)
20. apes and monkeys (monkey holding an apple)
21. living things (butterflies, cow and fauna)
22. the tree and its world (squirrel)
23. air (children flying kites)
24. seals and whales (seal)
25. reptiles (iguana?)
26. shepherds (man on a camel)
27. the stream (stream and beaver)
28. coffee (coffee pickers)
29. fire (caveman lighting a fire)
30. chocolate and cocoa (ladies and a child with beans)
31. bread (many loaves in a corn field with combine harvesters)
32. polar regions (icy landscape)
33. mountains (mountains and lake)
34. forests (forests, mountains and lake)
35. teeth (hippopotamus opening its big mouth)
36. tea (a female tea harvester)
37. fruit (an array of fruit)
38. bears and pandas (a panda)
39. islands (three island, sea, sailboat and seagull)