661 Words For Numbers

Understanding Numbers 66
Words we need for Numbers 66
More words for Numbers 66
Everyday words for Numbers 67

The Keywords for Reading scheme, introduced in 1965, was a huge success for Wills & Hepworth, who quickly turned their hands to the related area of numeracy. In keeping with the latest theories of the time, the concept was to introduce numbers at the same time as language and experience, so that they formed a whole, rather than treat numeracy as a distinct subject.

This short series of four books were written by the same "Keywords" team of McNally and Murray, as the introduction makes clear:

The authors of the Ladybird "Words for Number" Series are authorities on the teaching of reading, and joint authors of the research work - "Key Words to Literacy"' published by The Schoolmaster Publishing Co. Ltd. W. Murray is an experienced headmaster and lecturer, and is author of the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme. J. McNally, now engaged on further research work, was Chief Educational Psychologist to Manchester Education Committee.

Kenneth Inns provided the illustrations and they were classic examples of Ladybird work, drawn to the highest standards. The illustration shown top-right is especially interesting, since the boys seem to have made balloons from something not usually seen at kids parties. As a student in the 70's, I seem to recall making similar balloons at parties.

The series was revised for metriculation (the ned volume), when new pennies replaced old ones and such oddities as "thruppeny bits & tanners" are a delight to see again. Most of today's generation probably see them as something from the 19th century, but that's their loss! If anyone can confirm revisions of the first three volumes, I'd be grateful.

Those of you who enjoy Ladybird books which feature mathematics and numbers might also want to look out for the "Basic Arithmetic" series 678.