On this page you’ll find information about different versions of Ladybird books or those with different covers. If, for example, you want to collect all the original 606d books, it helps to know which books belong to this series and which books, though sharing the same title, do not. (I don’t deal with every ladybird book version around. Just some that might trip you up when you get started with a collection. I am also make little reference to books published after 1980 because that’s where my interest in collecting tails off).
Different Cover – Same book
Sometimes the problem for collectors is the opposite – the same book is reproduced inside different boards. An example of this is this:
Here you can see the two faces of the book “Wildlife in Britain”. Despite the very different covers, the same book is inside. The same treatment was given to “Disappearing Mammals”. These books seem to be the missing link (ha!) leading to the ‘Conservation’ series 727.
And this title “What on Earth are we Doing?” also in the Conservation series, had a cover makeover early in its life for no obvious reason other than to draw it into line with the later titles in series 727.
Prehistoric Animals and Fossils
This book, from series 651, had a cover change some time around 1980, for no good reason that I can see. The contents of the book are unchanged.
The Battle of the Little Big Horn
Now why would Ladybird have gone to the trouble of producing another cover for this book – from series 707? – reversing the title and sub-title and changing the cover picture? Perhaps because ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ sounds more dramatic?
Series 633 and 634 – Learnabout and Hobbies
The Learnabout series (634) has distinctive yellow boards and a circular picture in the centre. There are about 36 titles (no one can quite agree whether some books were ever actually published that were advertised). But many of these are actually older books re-packaged – many titles from the Hobbies series (633) and some were later collected together and re-packaged to make later ‘series’ such as the cookery books: ‘Making and Decorating Cakes’, ‘Easy Meals’, ‘Cooking’ etc which were to form the basis of series 824.Here you can see the original version of ‘Stamp Collecting’ and the later ‘Learnabout’ version:
On the subject of Learnabout books, here’s an oddity. The cover of this book looks like any other book from any other series. The back cover is completely plain and there is no indication on the boards at all that this is a Ladybird book – no logo, nothing. But inside on the title page it states: Ladybird books, Loughborough and the contents are those of ‘Learnabout Taking Photographs’. Were there other books produced like this? And why?
Read it Yourself (series 777)
The Read it Yourself series 777 has had many cover revisions but not until the version of the mid 1990s (the last book shown in this picture) did the contents change; new titles appeared too. Here you can see the incarnations of RIY Hansel and Gretel. The contents are the same in the first 3 of these books.
Something else to look out for: some titles had a number of editions printed which were sponsored by a particular company or enterprise. For example, in this picture you can see 2 copies of the ‘blue-framed’ Charles Dickens. They are identical but that on the back of the second you can see a paragraph on the back explaining that this is a special edition, arranged by The Dickens House Museum with support from Olympus Cameras. I have no idea how many ‘sponsored’ titles there are like this and would welcome any info.
Revisions to The Key-Word Reader (Peter and Jane books) demand a section to themselves.