Ned the lonely donkey (1952)
Ladybird books are 75 years old this year, and many millions of us have been encouraged to read because of them.
For those of us growing up in the post war years, the early books are time capsules and tell of a safe and optimistic world, or so we used to think. And yes, they remind us of how we looked.
We learned about science – they had a huge amount of carefully researched detail – and thought that motorways were a good thing, as were trains. Geography, history, nature went next to well loved tales on our book shelves. We learned about grown ups and their jobs, although I’m not sure that teachers were profiled.
Successive generations continue to ‘love’ these books as is clear from these four short documentary clips. Yes, the books were gender and class specific: men mended cars and women did the sewing, but both Peter and Jane did go shopping with Mummy.
Now we’ve moved on to e-books – well, I haven’t – and even pre-schoolers have their apps, and political correctness flavours our language. The series of ‘satirical’ Ladybird images here seems to offend a few but, hey, it’s part of our psyche to poke fun at British institutions.
If you share our warped sense of humour, then have a look at these five Ladybird pages. You/we had until Tuesday (27th) to suggest some witty one-liners and maybe win a prize.
…. and the winners are …