In Green Pastures
Uncle Mac, alias Derek McCulloch, was a children's entertainer, author and radio broadcaster with the BBC. He had a high profile in children's entertainment, and had also lent his name to many children's annuals (see picture left). He was brought in by Wills & Hepworth as a well-known "name" with which to launch a series of ghost-written "educational" books. The books were similar to others produced in the 40's (Tasseltip, Tinkers Wig) in that they featured their own style of cover & artwork. By the time series 497 had arrived, they had settled on the now classic look so beloved of collectors and which was to form the basis of future releases for the next 30 odd years..
Artwork was provided mostly by Septimus E Scott. Scott harked back to an older school of illustration, where every page bore the artist's signature. The illustrations looked like they were intended to be framed and had quite an old feel to them. As with the Tinkers Wig, the question has to be asked whether the artwork was recycled from earlier books with fresh text added.
Looking at In the Train, which was illuistrated by WC Watson, the artwork is very different and much more "50's" in feel. For some reason, the dog in the story is called "Trigger"!
All early editions featured a full colour illustration on the actual sleeve, with an identical dust-jacket. Later editions reverted to the buff/green artwork. The spine matched the colour of the rear of the book, with no text on it. Early editions also featured line artwork on the inside covers, replaced by the familiar winged ladybird logo by the mid 50's.