The Lord's Prayer 1961
Some of the earliest Ladybird books drew upon Biblical themes and the Lords Prayer was a natural topic for the first in this series, dated 1961. The preface clearly shows that the book was aimed at adults who wanted to give their children a deeper insight into the meaning behind the lines of the prayer, which it explains "is not an easy prayer to understand". The book was written, or rather "compiled" by Hilda Rostron, the author of several other LB books in this area, notably in series 606a. Artist Harry Wingfield needs no introduction and produces some excellent artwork, with the ancient tree illustrating "the power" particularly outstanding. The buff cover unusually features a slightly different illustration to the cover.
The follow-up, three years later, carries on in much the same vein. This time, the verses are accompanied by "nature notes" to add educational value to the philosophy of the verses. These offer little suggestions such as; "How many trees do you know well enough to draw or describe from memory?" - not the asiest of tasks, but probably quite rewarding in a Zen kind of way! The artwork is provided by Clive Uptton, possibly a contact of Hilda's, since his work with Wills & hepworth was limited to illustrating five of her books. The rear inside sleeve notes show a minor landmark for the company, "there are over 100 Ladybird titles - write for an illustrated catalogue" - if anyone has one of these catalogues, please get in touch!
The final volume of the series was the 1st book of Hymns and songs. The contents were chosen by practising teachers as being the ones that children most enjoyed. The inside front cover gives a number of hints and tips for getting the most educational value from the contents. Compiled by Irene Dark (responsible fro "Come to France" and "Come to Denmark") and ably illustrated by A.N. Buchanan (his only book), the cover features a typical piece of self-publicity - the two children are singing from copies of the book itself! The book was revised and reissued in 1969.