Tuesday 31 December 2013

Ladybird Tuesday - Girls and Boys, A Ladybird Book of Childhood

It's that strange time of year between Christmas and New Year, and I'm cheating a little bit with my Ladybird Tuesday post today. I'm going to look at a book which I received as a Christmas present - Boys and Girls: A Ladybird Book of Childhood (affiliate link). Although it was only published in 2007 it seems to be currently out of print. My Mum managed to track down a second hand copy for me, which is in excellent condition.

Boys and Girls: A Ladybird book of Childhood

It's a large, hardback book, and it's divided into chapters which reflect many of the topics that the Ladybird books are famous for - including 'at home', 'things to do' and 'special days'. It is stuffed full of vintage illustrations from the books and unedited full page extracts, featuring the familiar Ladybird typeface. It's the sort of book that you can dip in and out of rather than read through in one go.

Boys and Girls: A Ladybird book of Childhood

At the end there is a short introduction to the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme, and a complete list of all the Ladybird books published, divided by series, from the 1940s to 1980s. During this time, 646 Ladybird titles were published, in 63 series.

I'm slightly too young to have enjoyed a true Ladybird childhood. For me, the nostalgia in Ladybird books comes from memories of reading the older books, and having them read to me, when I was little. A great deal of the book did strike a chord with me though.

A large number of the pages are titled after different types of experience or activity, with a list of things that would have been noticed by a child. My favourite page is titled 'being ill', accompanied by a picture of a small child in bed cutting out pictures from a catalogue. Some of the things on the page - 'My bedroom looks different in the daytime', 'Lunch on a tray', 'A box of tissues and a bucket by my bed' and 'Fall asleep even though it's light' - reflect perfectly things that I remember from childhood. It's a real nostalgia fest.

Boys and Girls: A Ladybird book of Childhood

There are also short articles contributed by famous Ladybird book fans and a detailed account of themes found in the books and the volumes that are best known for reflecting them. It's a full and rich history of both Ladybird books and the period in history that they represent, and if you have an interest in Ladybird books I'd definitely recommend tracking down a copy - as a start there are several copies available through second hand sellers on Amazon.

Boys and Girls: A Ladybird book of Childhood

If you're looking for another wonderful Ladybird related item I can also recommend Postcards from Ladybird (affiliate link) which is a collection of 100 vintage Ladybird covers reproduced as postcards. I received them as a gift recently and use four of them in a small photo wall which I blogged about here.

If you love Ladybird books, do pop over and visit Ladybird Tuesday, where Being Mrs C is assembling a really comprehensive catalogue of Ladybird books and reviews.

Below you can find links to all my Ladybird Tuesday book posts.

Snow White and Rose Red
Hansel and Gretel
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
The Three Little Pigs
The Old Woman and her Pig
Little Red Riding Hood
The Ugly Duckling
The Railway Children
A Little Princess
A First book of Aesop's Fables

A Ladybird Book about Knitting
More Things to Make - For Special Occasions
Easy to Make Puppets
Learning to Sew
Stamp Collecting
Tricks and Magic

Prehistoric Animals and Fossils
Stone Age Man in Britain
Great Civilisations - Crete
Charles Dickens
Lives of the Great Composers Book 1
Lives of the Great Composers Book 2
The Story of Music

Plants and How They Grow
The Ladybird Book of the Night Sky
Sea and Air Mammals
The Farm

The Story of Nuclear Power
The Motor Car
How it Works - The Computer
How it Works - The Rocket
The Story of Ships
The Postman and the Postal Service
People at Work - The Nurse

Understanding Numbers
Talkabout Clothes
Going to School
Teaching Reading

Stories of Special Days and Customs
Christmas Customs

Girls and Boys - A Ladybird Book of Childhood


  1. Oh wow! How have I never seen that before??? Off to add it to my Amazon wish list!

    1. I hope that you can get hold of a copy, you'll love it!


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