Went out to get a cup of yoghurt after lunch and dropped into the bookshop next door. Was browsing aimlessly when I cam upon a rack of Ladybird books. One title (The Little Red Hen) caught my eye and I picked it up. This is a story that I remember from my childhood, glancing through I find that the story is still the same - except for one critical thing: the pictures have changed! I checked another, The Elves and the Shoemaker, and it was just the same. They seem to have revamped the books entirely.
The highlight of the Ladybird books used to be their beautiful illustrations. I think they were either oil paintings or watercolours but done to a very high standard. The pictures were so attractive that one could spend a lot of time just looking at them. They really brought the story to life and it is something I consider very important in encouraging children to pick up a book.
The illustrations in the new editions are fairly all right but nothing compared to the books of old. For examples of the old have a look here I'm not really sure why they changed the books, maybe to make them look more modern I suppose but I think that was a mistake, something that a thriving market in old editions seems to prove.
Anyway for anyone interested in further information on the history of Ladybird books and old titles have a look here and here.
The official site is here.
A good article on another favourite- Tootles the Taxi is here.