Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Vintage Ladybird


The Penguin Group are really beginning to revel in the increasing awareness of Ladybird Books as 'national treasures' - the nostalgia and recent social history. Combining this with the growth of social software sites, they've now launched a website called http://www.vintageladybird.com/ - which is less a site for collectors than a sort of hub or portal for a Ladybird prespective on other interactive sites. It has potential; it will be interesting to see how this evolves.

9 comments:

Edward said...

Dear Helen
i have just come across your wonderful website. i grew up in the UK in the 60s and 70s reading ladybird books. i now work as an illustrator and live in Australia.
The illustrations in the books encouraged my interest in art and i have always had a fond regard for them.
By the way i wonder if you have come across an article in UK graphic design magazine EYE. It has an interesting article on two ladybird illustrators - John Berry and Martin Aitchison.
cheers
Edward
http://edwardcrosbydesign.blogspot.com

Helen said...

Thanks Edward. Yes, I did see the 'Eye' article - it was quite a while ago. Nice to see a publication like that taking a good long, rational look at the artwork. There's still a very heavily abridged version of this article on their website:
http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature.php?id=110&fid=499

Edward said...

hi Helen
thanks for your reply and the link.
i will have to get my old ladybird book out and enjoy all those great illustrations again.
my favorites were "beauty and the beast" and "the princess and the pea" from the 1950/1960s. Though i don't think these was illustrated by John Berry or Martin Aitchison
cheers
edward

Helen said...

No, they were by Eric Winter and Robert Lumley - and you're not alone in remembering these illustrations most fondly. As my poll shows. What a shame there's so little information out there on these two artists! I'd love to know more.

Edward said...

hi Helen
thanks for the names of those artists.
their work is extraordinary.
by the way, i remember as a child (late 1960s UK) we had some pirate books at school. they featured three pirate characters - Roddick the Red, Gregory the Green and Benjamin the blue.
they were not ladybird books but i wonder if you have heard of them.
thanks
Ed

Helen said...

Yes, I vaguely remember these books from school in the early 1970s. I recall they featured the word 'treasure' quite a lot - which posed me a few problems. I'll have a flit around and see if I can find any more details about them.

Helen said...

Found them!
Griffin Pirate Stories by ... Sheila McCullah - who, of course, also wrote the fabulous 'Puddle Lane' books for Ladybird. She was a busy lady, what with 'The Village with 3 Corners' series and who knows how many other reading schemes. For anyone who wants to track them down, the publisher is E J Arnold, illustrated by Mary Gernat.

Edward said...

thanks Helen
wow i have looking for these books
for many years.
i have found a site that has some scans
http://cultreading70s.blogspot.com/

thanks once again
edward

Justin Lumley (son) said...

I remember the "Pirate" books - Roderick the Red, Gregory the Green et al. very well. They were written for older children with reading difficulties. My parents thought them such a good idea they bought them for me, even though I didn't need extra reading practice.

Neither Beauty and the Beast nor The Princess and the Pea was illustrated by Robert Lumley. My father's style was pretty consistent, with the notable exception of The Three Little Pigs.