How many of you were raised on Ladybird Books as children? Or at least read them to your children? Well, I did both, and my Ladybird Little Red Riding Hood was my very first fairy tale that quickly became a favourite. My mother tried to read other stories each night but I insisted on Little Red Riding Hood and ended up memorising it, including page turning and dramatic pauses. Eventually, I moved on to other Ladybird tales such as the The Magic Porridge Pot, Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Gingerbread Man, and a host of others.
The signature style of the Ladybird Books consists of short, concise, clear sentences that contain all the necessary information and eventually encourage the child to read on his or her own. There are no superfluous words in a Ladybird story, and in spite of the limited amount of pages, you will still get the full plot. Once the child is old enough to digest the gruesomeness of the Brothers Grimm, Enid Blyton or the Nancy Drew series, Ladybird becomes a thing of the distant past.
You can always tell the when the adult or child grew up on Ladybird – because they love to read to and with others. These books are designed for sharing aloud, bedtime story, or even an older child reading to a younger one.
Fast forward 30 years…
As a mother, and eventually the school librarian, I loved watching the children sit down in a corner with a Ladybird in their hands instead of comics, or even worse, an electronic device.
Fast forward another 20 years…
A good friend, literary buff, English major and author suddenly sends me a WhatsApp message and springs the idea of Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups on me – in the middle of my workday! I initially found the idea preposterous, but when I scanned through the pages, like AGR, I couldn’t stop laughing.
I have the Kindle versions, and began with The Cat, and then got The Mid-life Crisis, which got me totally hooked, but I can tell you that the entire series is hilarious. There is even a Brexit story! Then I discovered that there are also Enid Blyton stories for grown-ups, with such glorious tittles like Five Give Up Booze, Five Go Gluten Free, Five at the Office Christmas Party, Five Forget Mother’s Day, and so on, and my favourite, Five Lose Dad In the Garden Centre.
Mind you, these Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups and Enid Blyton books certainly don’t come cheap, but they will certainly give you more than just a simple chuckle, especially the Brexit ones.