THE Ladybird book is celebrating its centenary this year – with a wave of nostalgia returning with these childhood favourites.
Bedtime for many children over the years included being read an extract from The Three Little Pigs, The Magic Porridge Pot or The Elves And The Shoemaker.
Indeed, many adults have gone on to read these same stories to their own children or grandchildren. Without internet distractions, Ladybird books also kept children entertained during the day – with a Book Of Things To Make and the series of How It Works and Adventures From History.
Many Ladybird editions were so popular, they were later printed in their millions. But find a rare copy or first edition and it can be worth hundreds of rands.
Collector Helen Day, 51, who lives in London, owns more than 1 500 Ladybird books. She says: “I was brought up reading these books and their idyllic and optimistic view of the world continues to captivate me.”
Day, who trains teachers, said: “The artwork is amazing. In the Peter and Jane books, Jane used to help her mum around the house, but she later got rid of the dress and became a bit of a tomboy wearing jeans. People forget Peter also liked skipping and flowers.”
Life for the Ladybird book began in 1915 during World War I.
The first books published under the Ladybird label were Tiny Tots Travels and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales – and these can now command more than R1 000.
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