callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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TV Watch: Ladybird Books

A lovely little programme on BBC4 (where else?) yesterday evening. Well worth catching if you were a Ladybird baby. I wasn’t. The images from my early childhood were from the Beatrix Potter books, Little Grey Rabbit and old books of my mother’s. I started collecting the books, mostly from charity shops and boot sales, when my daughter was small. I ended up with quite a lot of them, most of which I got rid of when I downsized. I kept my favourites: the nature books and the history series.


Tunnicliffe’s detailed illustrations fascinated the young Chris Packham.


The book which started Andrew Motion on a lifetime’s interest in Nelson. I mentioned the history series briefly here. It was fascinating to see an old interview in which an historian, talking to John Tusa, made a spirited defence of the du Garde Peach view of history, on the grounds that it made history interesting for children. This was after the original Ladybird company was sold, the style of the books was changed and the history books rewritten.

On this BBC blog you can meet a collector who has thousands (yes, really) of Ladybird books. There are so many on ebay that there’s a dedicated help page, advising sellers on the various editions. I thought the Ladybird boom was over, but it seems not. Now, the books have reappeared in nostalgic box sets and the compilation volume Boys and Girls: A Ladybird Book of Childhood. A quick search on Google will bring up a number of sites offering pictures and information. Everyone on the programme agreed that Ladybird-land was a happy place and these bloggers would obviously like to live there.


BTW The Book People are sending their customers a merry little Christmas video .
Tags: ladybird books, nostalgia, television

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