Tootles the Taxi was the 9th 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. Tootles, written by Joyce Clegg, turned out to be one of Ladybird’s best-loved and bestselling books of all time. It is made by the superb John Kenney illustrations. Kenney illustrated Tootles at around the same time as he illustrated some of the Railway Series book (Thomas the Tank Engine). The Rev. Awdry was particularly pleased with Kenney’s illustrations of his series – but Kenney’s skills weren’t confined to jaunty pictures of vehicles with faces. He also illustrated The Circus Comes to Town, Robin Hood and most of the History series for Ladybird. In such high regard was this book held that, in 1999, when the Ladybird factory was closed down, all employees were given a special, souvenir edition of this book as a parting gift.
This copy still has its original duswrapper. It’s quite hard to find Tootles in good condition because it was such a well-loved book but, although it has its faults, this book is in remarkable condition. There’s very little sign of wear even to the dustwrapper and the book is also in great condition. However, there’s a scratch and a pen mark top left of the DJ panel (see photo). There are also several pen marks on the inside DJ flap and the odd mark/foxing to the first few pages. This copy has a close-wing logo and white endpapers so I would date it to the early 1960s.