Published on September 14th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
Ladybird Books Nostalgia
Today sees the launch of a new set of stamps celebrating the golden age of Ladybird Books. Featuring book covers from some of the publisher’s most famous titles, these stamps will take you back to your childhood in an instant.
Originally founded by Wills & Hepworth, the owners of a bookshop in Loughborough in the 1860s, Ladybird published their first children’s book in 1914. However, it wasn’t until 1971 that the company began trading as Ladybird Books, thanks to the books’ popularity in the UK.
Many of us will remember learning to read thanks to Ladybird’s Key Words Reading Scheme. During the 1960s and 1970s, generations of children followed the adventures of Peter and Jane, who featured in 36 books. In fact, over 650 titles were published by Ladybird books from 1940 to 1980.
In 1971, the company published a book “How it Works” The Computer. Aimed at children aged 7 years and above, the book was used by staff at the Ministry of Defence. However, copies were circulated in plain wrapping so they didn’t catch on that they were actually reading a children’s book.
Demand for Ladybird books waned in the 1990s as the storylines provided an old fashioned and quite stereotyped view of family life. The publisher became part of the Penguin Books publishing house in 1998 and its factory in Loughborough closed the same year.
Resurgence of Ladybird Books
In recent years, Ladybird Books has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity. In 2015 it launched its first series of adult books with a tongue in cheek theme. Using the same style of artwork as the children’s books, titles include Mindfulness, Dating and The Hipster and Quantum Mechanics. The Ladybird Book of the Meeting has already sold over 165,000 copies.
Earlier this year, Prince Charles wrote a book for Ladybird. Entitled, The Ladybird Book on Climate Change, the 48-page book was inspired after High Royal Highness addressed the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris in 2015.
Ladybird Book Stamp Set
This new Ladybird Books Stamp Set collection features eight special stamps covering various themes from this wonderful series of children’s book titles:
- Adventures from History
- Well-loved Tales
- Keywords Reading Science
- Early Tales and Rhymes
- Hobbies and How it Works
- People at Work
- Nature and Conservation
The Ladybird Books Presentation Pack includes all eight special stamps and booklet written by Ladybird Book collector and expert Helen Day. Helen recounts the story of the books in an a-Z format.
Also available is the set of eight Ladybird Books Stamp Cards featuring the designs of each stamp in this wonderful collection.