Stamp of approval for children’s classic books

Royal Mail is releasing a series of stamps based on the classic Ladybird children's books.
Royal Mail is releasing a series of stamps based on the classic Ladybird children's books.

A new series of stamps celebrating a British childhood institution is being released today by Royal Mail.

The new issue features images of the popular and much-loved Ladybird books which helped generations of children to learn to read.

It reflects the books’ different series and the ‘Key Words Reading Scheme’ and ‘Early Tales and Rhymes’ are included, as are popular books from ‘Adventures from History’, ‘Well-loved Tales’, ‘Hobbies’ and ‘How it Works’, ‘People at Work’, ‘Nature and Conservation’ and ‘Achievements’.

For many people over the age of 30, the mere mention of Ladybird books is sure to evoke strong childhood memories, particularly the beautiful and vibrant illustrations by leading commercial artists such as John Kenney who illustrated the ‘Adventures from History’ series and Eric Winter who created the memorable pictures for the 1964 edition of ‘Cinderella’.

In addition to artistic realism, the text and language was also carefully considered to make the titles as accurate, trustworthy and authoritative as possible.

The small-sized children’s books most strongly associated with the brand were first published in the early days of the Second World War.

Their format – 56 pages printed on both sides of a single piece of paper measuring 40 inches by 30 inches (102cm x 76cm) – was the direct result of wartime paper shortages and proved to be a winning formula.

Covering all manner of themes – from learning to read, fairy stories, history and hobbies to nature, science and inventions – the books sparked children’s interests and fired imaginations.

The 1950s to 1970s are regarded as the golden age of Ladybird Books and the publisher built up an unrivalled library of more than 650 titles.

Thomas Merrington, Creative Director at Penguin Ventures, said: “We are always looking for new ways to bring the Ladybird Books Vintage Collection to wider audiences – the original illustrations are an icon of British design and this stunning collection of stamp products from the Royal Mail will make a beautiful addition to collectors and fans of Ladybird Books.”

Philip Parker, Royal Mail spokesman, added: “Reading Ladybird Books became something of a rite of passage for children from the 1950s onwards, and our new stamps celebrate the iconic series that generations have loved and grown up with.”

The stamps are available at www.royalmail.com/ladybirdbooks and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 03457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB and 7,000 Post Offices across the UK.