Thursday, 14 May 2009

I just love vintage Ladybird Books!!

They are an extra special treat when they arrive by post at breakfast time!

The reading scheme books contain some of my favourite artwork. Reproductions of the pictures are available now but nothing beats original books. I have a wide range of vintage Ladybird available in the shop as well as a 'behind the scenes' store for topping up stock. I also run a 'finder's book' and try to track down favourites for customers. However, I generally avoid the expensive, rare, collectable ones simply because it will do This'n'That's reputation a power of no good to have those high prices attached to our books ... hope you see what I mean:)

There's similarly, simple, nostalgic artwork in the Learning With Mother series which, I am happy to say, are still favourites with young Mums who visit the shop. I always try to keep a wider spot amidst the clutter for buggy parking to give Mum a few free minutes to browse.

Interesting to see the 1969 advice to teachers in "Teaching Reading" with key words, guidance on teaching phonics, the use of big pictures and sentence cards ....... need I say more?

Somewhere, tucked away, I have a copy of the reader which I was taught with in the 1950's and what do you know!!...... even that had similar advice ......

Is this the start of a soapbox rant I hear you say ... could be but I will resist. Suffice to say that I retired from thirty four years of teaching a few years back and opened the shop.

An interesting twist! Children's stories were far less protective in the heyday of the Ladybird books. Here, at the end of "The Sly Fox and The Little Red Hen" the fox and his mother were killed by being scalded to death with boiling water. Not very fluffy as tales for the young go but were little lives blighted? I think not!

PS Watch this blog for information/pics. re Ladybird tins, pencil/make-up cases, notebooks, coasters, mugs, trays .....all of which are sold in This'n'That.


  1. Oh my goodness I can hardly breath ...the books are beautiful ...

  2. Oh I am so jealous!
    I am hoping to get down to Totnes at some point when we are down south this summer so I shall have to pop into your shop for a nosy around.

  3. Lovely! Here in France the children's stories are still gruesome - Barbe-Bleue is particularly horrid and therefore appreciated...

  4. Wonderful stuff!
    Oh my goodness,you can't possibly be suggesting that the teaching of reading be done properly...can you? LOL!
    You'll need to make room on that soapbox for me! ;-);-)

  5. I'm a ladybird fan too!
    I remember as a child always skipping to the very last picture at the back - as it was always the prettiest, especially in the fairytales. (Although, thankfully I hadn't seen The Sly Fox'!)

  6. Hello
    I was just out for a blogland ride and came across your blog.
    Your delightful childrens books caught my eye and now I am an officail follower .
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful vintage books .
    I love them all !
    Have a fantastic weekend.

  7. What a nostalgia trip!! I remember a lot of those Ladybird books!!! It doesn't seem that long ago!!!

    Have a great weekend : )

    Sharon xx

  8. The pictures are fab aren't they? I bet the person who wrote "The Sly Fox" had chickens!

  9. I love Ladybird books. They take me back to my childhood every time I see them. Your shop sounds amazing, I would love to visit (and buy lots) but I am 'Up North'. X

    P.S I would love to see photographs of a walk around Devon, you must do that, it would be fab to see. I have never visited the area, but everytime I see property programmes and they are in Devon or Cornwall it always looks so pretty. If there are any thatched cottages on your route I will probably faint with excitement Hee Hee X

  10. Oh My God! I neeeeed to come and visit your shop - it looks amazing and I have got a wonky weak spot for old ladybird books. Thanks for the peak into to your life and work.

  11. hi i have lots of old ladybird books if you are interested in buying let me no

  12. Hi, Sorry can't email you directly but yes please I'd be interested in the books. Please use the 'email me' link to get in touch. It's in the right column of the blog.
    Thanks :)