Last Monday (16th October) I headed down to Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road to the event organised by Ladybird to publicise their new book “Boys and Girls” – a look at Childhood in the ‘golden years’ of Ladybird.
I hadn’t been inside Foyles for many years – not since it was a rather charmless, rambling book warehouse staffed by those handpicked for their cumugeonly qualities – when its biggest rival of the time “Dillons” used the slogan “Foyled again? Try Dillons”
Time passes and now Foyles is smart and bright. The Ladybird Book event took place on the second floor. After a glass of wine and a little mingle (there were about 30 people present) Stephanie Barton (Publishing Director) and Ronnie Fairweather(Creative Director) gave a very entertaining talk about Ladybird Books, their own associations with Ladybird and some anecdotes about the history and snippets from some books.
Behind them on the wall were some examples of mouth-watering original Ladybird artwork – including pieces from Eric Winter’s 606d Rapunzel and Kenney’s Tootles the Taxi. How many people have asked me why they have never been able to track down any original Eric Winter artwork! Well now we know. Recently Ladybird have uncovered a large quantity of the artwork, tucked away and long-forgotten – until now. Magical! I suppose I should think of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at this point – but instead I think of Howard Carter holding up a lamp and peering for the first time into the Tomb of Tutankhamun – “Beautiful things!”
They also displayed two new publications which will be on sale soon – a collection of facsimilie reproduction Ladybird Classics in a presentation slip-case – one ‘For Boys’ and one ‘For Girls’.
I really hadn’t been sure what to expect out of the evening – but after a glass of wine, some home cakes (the recipes for which I’m sure were taken from a Ladybird cookbook) and some chats with a range of interesting people – it was all very pleasant and all very ‘Ladybird’.