I am delighted to have recently acquired the rather odd-looking book in the picture. It was owned (and probably made) by William Murray – author of the Key Word Reading schemes: Peter and Jane and ‘Read with Me’.

It’s a mock-up of a book which Murray used to plan out the text and layout of his books. Inside the text has been sellotaped into the blank pages and annotated in his writing. It seems to have be part of the planning for a re-working of the original Peter and Jane books – planned but never issued. It is called ‘1a’ and features Peter, Jane and ‘Mop’ the dog. Presumably this plan was scrapped and was replaced with the Read with Me series (featuring Kate, Tom and Sam the dog).

But it is a fascinating insight into the process that created the books that have been so influential in the literacy of Britain in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.