Sunday, 13 April 2014

Ladybird Book nostalgia - part one

Good morning everyone, looks like Spring has arrived finally, sunny, blue skies, but still quite a chilly breeze.

As I get older I find that I become more nostalgic about times gone by - pretty normal I guess for everyone.  One thing I used to absolutely love was the Ladybird Book series - they were published in my home town, which we were very proud about.  We didn't have a TV when I was little, so I started reading at a very young age - well before I started school.  And Ladybird books were a key part of that process.  The quality was excellent, and the price affordable - crucial as we didn't have much money.  But my Darling Mum always found enough to buy me books on a regular basis.

She has all my collection of Ladybird books, but I rather fancied having a few of my key favourites here at my house.  So I started trawling the local charity shops, no luck.  So then onto Amazon, and, amazingly I found my two most favourite titles, at 1p and 60p (ok so there was £2.80 postage but even so...).  So after a few clicks, these two were winging (sorry about the pun!) their way to me.

And here they are:

Both were written by E L Grant Watson, and illustrated by C F Tunnicliffe, RA.  The Winter title was published in 1959, and the Autumn title in 1960 (when I was born, giving my age away now!!) Both titles sold for the princely sum of 2s6d, 12.5p in today's money.  How I loved both of these titles, my love of Autumn and Winter has been with me as long as I can remember.  I would read and re-read these books, to this day I can remember passages from them.  Many facts about nature that I still recall now came from the texts of these little books.

So I thought it would be nice to share a few of my favourite illustrations from each book - would you like to see?

Today I will share illustrations from What to look for in Winter.

This is the finely detailed pen and ink drawing on the title page.  We are very lucky here, there is a lot of mistletoe growing around the town, you see it on trees when driving along the ring road...

This is first colour illustration.  A time-honoured way of hedgelaying, good to see this craft is seeing something of a resurgence in our local countryside...

I always loved this picture because of the fungi in the foreground and because it reminds me of our local outwoods..

This reminds me so much of a local lake, I wonder if the artist actually took his inspiration from it...

A lovely, frosty, wintery morning, just look at the detail on the cobwebs, so finely observed...

Fieldfares and redwings, we only get to see them if the weather is extremely cold, I didn't see any this winter...

Watch out bunnies!

Just love the colours of the sky, I was lucky enough to see a fantastic display of starlings in formation this winter...

And finally, this closely observed illustration, I think of it each time we have late winter snow...

I really hope you enjoyed looking through some of my favourite illustrations from this lovely old book, back soon hopefully with What to look for in Autumn.

Have a lovely Sunday, Helen


  1. I love ladybird books too, learnt to read with Peter and absolute favourite is the fairy stories though, I'd love to collect those but they cost a fortune now :) x

    1. Peter and Jane! And Pat the dog! I remember them so fondly :)

  2. Beautiful illustrations! Enjoyed looking at them! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. I love the old illustrations in books and on cards. They really are so beautiful. Have a wonderful day, Tammy

  4. Hello Helen! Oh my those are wonderful books and illustrations! Just think, those pictures inspired your artistic bent from a very young age. How many books does your mother have? Thanks for sharing! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Gorgeous illustrations, thank you for sharing with all of us.

  6. Just getting caught up on your posts while I was away. Good progress on your blanket squares, Helen, and it is good to see the progress of Spring around you, too. So glad you had a Happy Mother's Day celebration, also. Thanks for sharing the Lady Bug Books with us. They are lovely!xx

  7. Gosh you've given me a blast from the past! I'd forgotten I had these books too! How lovely to see them again. Thanks for showing us Helen and thank you for your kind comments over at amandamakes. They always lift my spirits. She's really up against it with this wretched cancer. Still we're bobbing along and you mustn't worry. Big hugs xxxxx


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