Educational Reading For Generations Of Kids

Educational Reading For Generations Of Kids

On September 14 Royal Mail will issue a set of eight stamps celebrating Ladybird books, which have had a huge influence on generations of British children.

The Loughborough-based stationery firm Wills & Hepworth registered the Ladybird name in 1915, and published the first of its small-format children’s books bearing the Ladybird logo in 1940.

With wartime paper rationing in force, it concocted a format in which a 56-page book could be printed from a single sheet of paper. The distinctive arrangement of text on the left of a double-page spread and an artist’s colour illustration on the right was another element of a successful formula, as was affordability; for many years, the price of each book was held at 2s 6d.

The first book was a nursery story, and many others recounted well-known fairy and biblical tales, but the subjects became increasingly non-fictional, investigating flora and fauna, looking at historical figures and explaining how things worked.

In 1964 Ladybird launched the Key Words Reading Scheme, a 36-book series designed to help children learn to read, and featuring the fictional siblings Peter and Jane.

Between 1940 and 1980, Ladybird published 646 titles in 63 different series, helping to educate millions of children.

Read the full article in Stamp Magazine October 2017

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