Monday, March 28, 2005

Ladybird, ladybird

When I was 2 my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said "A Cinderella Book". (That should have probably gave them a little clue about the outcome of my sexuality, but it was a less sophisticated age).

Anyway, I got that book and loved it (2 year olds are so easily pleased). The book in question was part of the Ladybird book series, which featured marvellous books for children. I especially loved the "Keywords" series, which featured two children called Peter and Jane - what were particularly good about them was the artwork, created by Harry Wingfield who painted pictures in a kind of utopian/nostaglia/propaganda super-realist style. I used to look at those pictures for ages, fascinated by them. My favourite book was called The Carnival, and involves the kids having a fun day out at (guess where?) a Carnival. Peter gets to dress as a clown and Jane is a fairy (OK, it was the 60s and gender stereotypes were de rigeur). There are also some older boys in the story (who I found interesting for reasons I didn't understand) who get dressed up as astronauts and design their own float. At the end of the book, it gets dark and a rather nice man in a swimming constume entertains everyone with some spectacular diving (again, I found this very interesting). I can't say that the Ladybird books made me gay, but they certainly provided me with the possibilities...


Deano said...

I too had an unusual interest in the boys in "The Carnival". Bless those people at ladybird books. Giving us "afflicted" lads something to be strangely attracted to.

Ian comatose said...

I remember the first ladybird book called "1A play with us" which consisted mostly of sentences with three words, about Jane, a ball and I think there was a labrador too... not sure why I remember it so vividly. Maybe it was disbelief at being asked to read something so basic

Anonymous said...

Other notable Ladybird books from the seventies included:

1) Dad's new wife Robert
2) Daddy drinks because you cry
3) Jenny was so bad her Mum stopped loving her
4) The pop up book of anatomy.