There’s a mere 50 years between the first publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on July 3rd 1865 and the publication of the first Ladybird Book.
Yesterday was Alice Day, a day to celebrate Alice’s hallucinatory Adventures which were the product of Lewis Carroll’s imagination, presumably addled with laudanum, a tincture of 10% opium and 90% alcohol flavoured with cinnamon or saffron.
“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.”
For people of a certain age, there’s nothing like an old Ladybird book to take you back in time. I’m of a certain age and recall these cheap hardback pocket sized books, above all for the illustrations which reproduced life as we knew it, educated us and took us into places which were beyond our experience.
Naturally both momentous anniversaries are being celebrated.
There is Alice In Wonderland.com, a site full of information and animations about how wonderful the Macmillan publishing house has been for 150 years.
The House of Illustration has an exhibition opening later this week and a book by Professor Lawrence Zeegan who introduces this video.
Footnote: July 6th 2015
Shirley Hughes, winner of the inaugural Book Trust lifetime achievement award, says: “Reading isn’t a competition. It isn’t how many words you can read. What even tiny children can do with a book is make their own personal exploration of a story. I think books are a wonderful piece of technology, I hope they survive.”