Tag Archives: 1960s

Books are exciting (Ladybird Keywords Reading Scheme) 1967

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Visiting the library

I found this in David’s Bookshop, Letchworth, for 25p. Result! This is a great book to show in this ‘100 years of Ladybird’ year.

This book is part of the Keywords Reading Scheme series (11c) and is all about books and reading. It covers fiction genres, non fiction (including facts, crafts, things to do, etc) writing your own books, visiting the library, using encyclopaedias, and finally how books are made. I don’t know if it was a mistake, but the book follows two children and their experiences of reading, but at the start they are introduced as Rita and Tim, but several pages in they turn into Peter and Jane (who were the usual Reading-Scheme characters) with no explanation.

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Choosing books

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Making books

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Fiction genres

I’m not sure Ladybird would use this image as a cover now! But to put it into context, it is the illustration from a story in the book about how some South Sea Islanders catch octopuses. Presumably this image was chosen as being (in the publisher’s opinion) the most exciting in the book. At that time (I’m not sure about now) cover images were always taken from the book.)

Books are Exciting Ladybird

Cover

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It’s behind you! Week Four: Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Disney – pictures adapted by John Hench and al Dempster

The last of my festive posts about stories that have been turned into pantomimes. I remember going to see Peter Pan when I was a child. I think Anita Harris played Peter.

Peter Pan the character first appeared in The Little White Bird, a novel by JM Barrie published in 1902. Peter was a baby in this story, not the young boy of the later play.

Peter Pan

From The Little White Bird
Illustrated by Jean Winslow

Peter Pan

From The Little White Bird
Illustrated by Jean Winslow

The story we all think of as ‘Peter Pan’ was first a 1904 stage play called Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. The story was then expanded into the 1911 novel Peter Pan and Wendy.

The following two illustrations are from my copy of The Story of Peter Pan retold by Daniel O’Connor from the Fairy Play by Sir JM Barrie published in 1917 by G Bell and Sons. The book was given to my nana in 1922 and she gave it to me when I was a baby. Sadly the book was slightly damaged in a water escape a few years ago.

Here’s Peter and Wendy

Illustrated by Alice B Woodward

Illustrated by Alice B Woodward

The children meet the mermaids

Peter Pan

Illustrated by Alice B Woodward

In 1953 the Disney version of Peter Pan was released. This really cemented the ‘look’ of Peter with his green tunic and tights, feathered cap and pixie features.

Peter Pan

Disney – pictures adapted by John Hench and al Dempster

Peter Pan

Disney – pictures adapted by John Hench and al Dempster

And finally here are a couple of the glorious illustrations by Anne Grahame Johnstone for her 1988 version of Peter Pan and Wendy.

Tinker Bell illustration

Tinker Bell

Captain Hook illustration

Captain Hook

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It’s behind you! Week Three: Cinderella

The third in my series of stories that inspire pantomimes. This week we have Cinderella.

Cinderella enslaved by her wicked stepmother…

Cinderella images

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

You shall go to the ball…

Cinderella images

From a colouring book version published by Treasure Hour Children’s Books – Unknown illustrator

Cinderella images

Unknown illustrator from the Bridget Hadaway fairy tales book

Cinderella images

Unknown illustrator

Mystery princess dances with the Prince all night…

Cinderella images

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

Cinderella images

By Gordon Laite

Cinderella

Disney illustrations adapted by Retta Scott Worcester

When the clock strikes midnight…

Cinderella images

By Gordon Laite

If the shoe fits…

Cinderella images

Disney illustrations adapted by Retta Scott Worcester

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The Pogles: Pippin Fishing 1967

Ah, Pogles’ Wood! A wonderful late 1960s BBC children’s TV series by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. This tie-in book was published by Hamlyn in 1967 and is illustrated with a mix of stills from the TV series and drawings by Peter Firmin. (Firmin also created the puppets.)

In this story it’s Mrs Pogle’s birthday and Mr Pogle sends Pippin and Tog out to find something to make the filling for a birthday pie. When they spot a boy fishing they decide they’ll catch a fish to make a fish pie. As you’d expect though, things don’t go entirely to plan…

Pogles' Wood

Pogles' Wood

Drawings by Peter Firmin

Pogles' Wood

Pippin and Tog

Pogles' Wood

Pippin and Tog puppets from the TV series

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Ladybird Book: Ballet 1969

Ladybird Book Ballet

There is something very lovely about finding a favourite childhood book again. Turning the pages and turning back time just for a moment.

The other day I found a box of Ladybird books in a charity shop. Most of them were modern(ish), but I found four old ones – and all for 50p each. I definitely had this one when I was a child – I was ballet mad for while until I realised that there was no way I’d ever be good enough! This was first published in 1969 – series 662 – by Ian Woodward and illustrations by Martin Aitchison.

The book begins with a brief history of ballet and moves on to ballet language, mime, costumes, makeup, what to expect as a ballet student, etc. This spread is about dancing sur les pointes and how to look after and prepare ballet shoes.

Ladybird Book Ballet

Ballet shoes

The endpapers show some ballet steps and movements.

Ladybird Book Ballet

Endpapers

There are fourteen pages of ballet synopses at the end.

Ladybird Book Ballet

Ballet synopses

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It’s behind you! Week Two: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The second in my festive pantomime-themed posts.

Once upon a time there was a queen who wished for a child…

Snow White vintage illustration

From Bridget Hadaway fairy stories

Who’s the fairest of them all…?

Snow White vintage illustration

Unknown illustrator

The huntsman left Snow White in the forest…

Snow White vintage illustration

By Hilda Boswell

Snow White vintage illustration

Disney illustrations adapted by Campbell Grant

Snow White meets the seven dwarfs…

Snow White vintage illustration

From Treasury of Literature illustrated by William Sharp

Snow White vintage illustration

Unknown illustrator

The poisoned apple…

Snow White vintage illustration

Disney illustrations adapted by Campbell Grant

Snow White vintage illustration

By Hilda Boswell

A glass coffin and a lonely vigil…

Snow White vintage illustration

Unknown illustrator

Happily ever after…

Snow White vintage illustration

From Bridget Hadaway fairy stories

Snow White vintage illustration

From Treasury of Literature illustrated by William Sharp

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It’s behind you! Week One: Aladdin

As it’s Christmas and panto season I thought this month I’d do a weekly post covering vintage illustrations for classic pantomime stories.

So first up – Aladdin.

Here’s Mickey Mouse as Aladdin on the cover of the 1974 Disney annual.

Disneyland Annual 1974

Disneyland Annual 1974

Illustration from Aladdin

From Tales of Long Ago by Enid Blyton Illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

This book has no illustrator credits. It was first published by Octopus Books Ltd, 1974.

Aladdin from Fairy Tales Book

Cover of Fairy Tales retold by Bridget Hadaway

Aladdin illustration

Inside illustration from Fairy Tales retold by Bridget Hadaway

This is from the Children’s Treasury of Literature in Colour that I wrote about here

Aladdin Illustration

Illustration by Lowell Hess

And another from the Grahame Johnstone sisters.

Aladdin illustration

From Dean’s Gift Book of Fairy Tales illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

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Book of Space Adventures 1963

Book of Space Adventures

One thing is certain, THE NEXT STEP is going to be just as exciting for the world as previous achievements have been and the day draws nearer when Man sets foot for the first time on Earth’s nearest neighbour.

Wowzer! My husband just picked up this fantastic Book of Space Adventures – the latest developments in the world space programmes – published and distributed in the UK by Atlas Publishing 1963. It’s in a hardback annual format and contains a mix of factual articles about world space programmes, aircraft developments, such as supersonic flight, and comic-strip stories about Ace Jordan – the, extremely square-jawed, leader of the Galactic Patrol.

Book of Space Adventures

Here’s some info about the Gemini Project…
Book of Space Adventures

And the Apollo Project…
Book of Space Adventures

Book of Space Adventures

Book of Space Adventures

Project Apollo – before the moon landings.

And here’s something a little more theoretical – a Mars probe.
Book of Space Adventures

The huge appeal of this book is that is is pre-Moon landings. The final spread gives ‘a brief look at the next decade’ and sums up…

Certainly the big news we can all hope for will be Man’s first landing on the Moon and it will be a big feather in the cap of whichever power wins the Moon race! … Who knows what other incredible feats may evolve as Man challenges the Universe and stretches out toward the unknown in the next ten years…

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1960s The Treasury of Children’s Literature in Colour

Treasury of Children's Literature

A few weeks ago I was browsing the children’s shelves in the wonderful Eric T Moore Books in Hitchin when I noticed this fairly unremarkable looking book. As I hadn’t yet come across anything I wanted to buy I picked it up anyway, expecting a generic collection of fairy tales. But what wonders were within! It is a treasury indeed.

Turns out this is a 1981 WHSmith exclusive printing of a book originally published in the 1960s by Western Publishing Inc. The treasury is edited and selected by Bryna and Louis Untermeyer (and some of the stories are retold by Louis Untermeyer). It is 544 pages long and contains selections from The Just So Stories, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, The Sword in the Stone, the Hobbit, The Wizard of Oz and countless others. And best of all, every story is illustrated – sometimes by illustrators I’m familiar with – EH Shepard, John Tenniel, Charley Harper, Alice and Martin Provensen and some new-to-me illustrators such as Gordon Laite.

Wonderful colours in Robert J Lee’s Hobbit illustrations – I love the flowers on Gandalf’s robe. He also illustrates Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon.

Treasury of Children's Literature

An Unexpected Party from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien illustrated by Robert J Lee

Treasury of Children's Literature

Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon by CS Forester and illustrated by Robert J Lee

Charley Harper’s stunning Bambi illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Bambi by Felix Salten and illustrated by Charley Harper

This gorgeous owl in his green sunglasses. (I didn’t know this story or illustrator.)

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Raoul the Owl by Jay Williams and illustrated by Lilian Obligado

This was the first time I’d come across Gordon Laite. His fairy story illustrations are fantastic.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Cinderella illustrated by Gordon Laite

Treasury of Children's Literature

Rapunzel illustrated by Gordon Laite

Adrienne Ségur has one illustration in Sleeping Beauty. Her work is beautiful and I am hoping to get a copy of her Alice one day.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Sleeping Beauty Illustrated by Adrienne Ségur

The wonderful Richard Scarry illustrates Drakestail.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Drakestail illustrated by Richard Scarry

A Japanese take on Bluebeard.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Bluebeard Illustrated by Kanako Tanabe

Ray Bradbury’s short story about learning not to be afraid of the dark.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Switch on the Night by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by Hilary Knight

I didn’t know these stories either. I love Jean Winslow’s pen (or pencil) and watercolour (I think) illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Ting-a-Ling and the Five Magicians by Frank R Stockton illustrated by Jean Winslow

And finally Aesop’s Fables retold by Louis Untermeyer and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. A grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s!

Treasury of Children's Literature

The Cat and the Mice from Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen



There are so so many wonderful stories and illustrators in this book this is just scratching the surface. And the moral of this story is don’t judge a book by its cover!

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Vintage books: Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney

Disney story books

Another version of Alice

Disney story books

Covers

I picked these up in Hoddesdon a few weeks ago and just got around to having a look at them.

Here we have two 1965 Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney books – Stories from Other Lands and Fantasyland. There are apparently four in the series. They were produced by Artist and Writers Press Inc and published by the House of Grolier.

Disney story books

Fantasyland contents

Disney story books

Other Lands contents

You’ll see from the contents pages that they are story collections. Some are adapted from Disney films – both animation and live action.

Disney story books

Snow White

Disney story books

A Swiss village

Some stories use film stills (again both animated and live action) and some are re-drawn using the animation style as in the Alice in Wonderland and Snow White stories (by Al Dempster and Campbell Grant respectively).

All in all they make lovely, varied and interesting storybooks. I didn’t have these when I was a child as far as I remember, but now I’m glad I’ve got them!

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