Sleeping Beauty, 1949, series 413 was the 5th book to be published in series 413 – the second series of Ladybird books ever produced. The 413 series is quite a random mixture of tales and rhymes – but all for pre-school children. This book proved to be a forerunner for one of Ladybird’s most successful series ever – the 606d fairy tales. However the illustrations here have a very different style. They are beautiful and very much of-their-time – more stylised than the 1960s books. As with many of the books of the series, this one states that it was “told by Muriel Levy”. This was a celebrity tie-in of its day – Auntie Muriel was a well known radio personality from Children’s Hour.
The illustrations are by Evelyn Bowmar – about whom I know almost nothing except that she did not enjoyher dealings with Wills & Hepworth over the course of the three books that she illustrated for the company. (This was the 1940s and Wills & Hepworth was a long way from being known as a publishing company then).
Anyway, before you buy this book as a gift for someone, check whether the recipient wants this version or the version later published in series 606d.
This copy still has its its original dustwrapper, price-clipped, and in only fair condition. As the photos show, it is chipped and torn and has some patches of loss, especially head and foot of spine. Inside, the book is in good condition. There’s an inscription on the endpapers, a crease in the edition page and an ink smudge on the title page. The reading pages are not creased and are in clean condition and the book has a nice, clear catalogue page. It is an 11th edition, 1959
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