Friday, 8 March 2013

We Love Ladybirds!

World Book Day ended for me on a high note- at our Friends and Neighbours group at church, we had a visiting speaker [Fiona Ure, of Leics Museums Service] speaking about Ladybird Books


wills&hepworth pressThese were first published nearby in Loughborough by Wills & Hepworth Printers – and Fiona spoke all about the history of the company, how the different Ladybird books came into being, and the company’s attempts to keep up with changing trends.

captain cookladybird flo2p&Jpiratesstilts

For years the little boys always wore grey shorts, shirts and ties, whilst the girls had pretty dresses and cardigans. Daddy wore a suit for work, and Mummy wore a hat. All very middle class.


She was a fascinating speaker – I could have listened for hours – and her assortment of books – vintage and modern was a delight to look through. Sadly even the earliest Ladybirds are not of any great monetary value [not even my own, treasured 1958 Bunnykins Picnic Party – sadly sans dust jacket now!]

Ladybirds are still being printed- but now in China. You can find out more on the official website [here] and Wee Web [here]



here is Bob

he is happy

he has an ice cream

[Perhaps I should start writing my own Reading Scheme!]


  1. How interesting. Ladybird books were a big part of my childhood and I wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for Peter and Jane; my Dad taught me to read with their help!

  2. look, Ang, look!
    look at Bob's ice cream!

    Thanks for that history - they were lovely books, weren't there? I loved the 'what to look for in...' series.

  3. I'd buy your reading scheme! I do though think it should be: Bob eats ice-cream! I was taught on here is Peter here is Jane. There are still iconic images from those books embedded in my head!

  4. I like ice cream
    I want one too.
    Will Bob share?

    Ladybird was one of the best teaching tools for slower readers, I used the books for many years.

  5. run, Mouse, run!
    Mouse has Bob's ice cream.
    Bob is sad.

    I loved Ladybird books & used to save up my pocket money to buy them. They obviously resonate with those of us "of a certain age"!

  6. Oh yes, we had the whole reading scheme - do you remember book 12c, which had excerpts from real books? I went on to read quite a few of those in full. And we had lots of the others - all the "job" ones, the craft ones, the fairytales and the Bunnikins and other animal stories, as well as the Sky at Night, Trees, seasons. We didn't have much money but there were always Ladybird books. I know one person (NOT my husband!) who wrote an essay at theological college using a Ladybird book as research, I think it was on the life of some famous person.

    I still have my copy of Piggly Plays Truant, one of the rhyming books from the same series as Bunnikins. They were an amazing resource!

  7. How wonderful! I loved Ladybird books! Love the Bob picture!
    Kezzie wants Bob's ice-cream!


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