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Ladybird Books

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Ladybird Series 561 - Adventures From History

Having recently come to know more about Ladybird books in general, I have been amazed at the great interest still shown in Series 561 - 'Adventures From History'.

There appears to be a variety of reasons why this series in particular continues to be so very popular today. Many people still like to collect each title as part of their full Ladybird books collection. Sometimes parents will come and buy copies for their children if, perhaps, they are doing a school project on a specific character from history. Others just prefer the simple but informative style that Ladybirds use, so that they can learn about different periods of history quickly and easily.

With fifty titles in the series all told, Adventures From History is the biggest series that Ladybird produced between 1940 and 1981. The first title, 'King Alfred The Great', was published with a dustwrapper in 1956 and the last title, 'William Shakespeare', was published some twenty-four years later in 1981.

Tootles The Taxi

With our big stock of Ladybird Books that come through Stella and Rose's Books, we often see which titles are most popular by how long they stay on our shelves.

A title that appears to not stay on our shelves very long is that of 'Tootles The Taxi and Other Rhymes' written by Joyce B. Clegg and illustrated by John Kenney. This being the case, I wondered why this book was so popular and sat down to read it myself.

With the title, which I always refer to as 'Tootles', you could be led to believe that the book is mostly about a taxi by that name (well, that is what I thought anyway). To my surprise the rest of the title 'And Other Rhymes' describes the book more accurately. 'Tootles' is just the first rhyme in the book, with every subsequent page having a different vehicle and corresponding rhyme.

Ladybird Nature Series 536 - The 'What To Look For...' series

View current stock of Laydbird Nature Series 536

With many rhyming stories and fictional tales in their repertoire, Ladybird Books started adding educational titles to their ever expanding series of books for children.

Included among these educational titles are the four 'What to Look For' books in the 536 (Nature) series. These titles see the pairing of experienced biologist and writer Elliot Lovegood Grant Watson and famous illustrator Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe. The series explores all four seasons, and the changes and exciting events that could be observed during each season.

First to be published was 'What to look for in Winter' in 1959, followed by 'What to look for in Summer' and 'What to look for in Autumn' in 1960 and finally 'What to look for in Spring' in 1961.

The Adventures of Wonk (Ladybird Series 417)

The other day, I was handed some new Ladybird books that had come into our possession and was thrilled to see five of the six titles in 'The Adventures of Wonk' series.

This series, number 417, was the third series undertaken by Wills and Hepworth in their now familiar small Ladybird format. The books were all written by Muriel Levy ('Auntie Muriel of Radio fame' as it states on the title pages - see below right) and illustrated with beautiful and vivid full colour pictures by Kiddell-Monroe. Wills and Hepworth published them between 1941 and 1948.

Each title recounts the everyday adventures of Wonk, a sleepy, loveable Koala character, and his best friend, a young boy named Peter.

C.F. Tunnicliffe

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It is often illustrations that people remember from childhood books. They can describe the illustration but have no idea who produced it. I am no exception as I can remember illustrations from the Ladybird book 'What to look for in Winter' very clearly but it is only recently that I have discovered that they were by C.F. Tunnicliffe.

Above: Tunnicliffe illustrations from 'Mereside Chronicle'

Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe was born on 1st December 1901 in Langley near Macclesfield in Cheshire. When he was eighteen months old the family moved to a farm at Sutton Lane Ends where Tunnicliffe spent the rest of his childhood. Tunnicliffe's interest in art began here and his drawings would appear on the walls of the cowshed and stable! His artistic talent was recognised by the Headmaster, Buckley Moffat, and Charles went on to attend the Macclesfield School of Art as well as going to the Manchester School of Art one day a week.

Ladybird Books Illustrators

You can't beat a Ladybird book!! A comment made in Rose's Books recently and one with which many people would agree. Well written, well illustrated, with just enough information to help any child who is learning to read or doing a school project (and not just in pre-computer days!)

Nearly everyone who visits Rose's Books walks past our fabulous collection of Ladybird books. Memories of these books come flooding back. But what I think people remember most is the illustrations - although there are a few people who can practically recite Tootles the Taxi or Ginger's Adventures! One customer bought a copy of British Birds And Their Nests from the 536 series because he found the illustrations really useful when bird watching.

Ladybird Books

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"Once upon a time there was a little girl called Cinderella. Her mother was dead, and she lived with her father and two elder sisters…"

Do you remember sitting up in bed as a little tot determined not to fall asleep as you listened to your favourite story being read to you? Maybe it started with the words 'Mrs. Bunnikin was darning, with a stocking in her hand; In came Bunnikin, her youngest, said "A picnic would be grand!"'.