737 Ladybird leaders

Ladybird leaders were intended to be a first step into learning. They were written and illustrated so that children would (hopefully!) enjoy reading them and learn at the same time. To quote the cover blurb; "Special artwork has been commissioned to set a standard rarely seen in books for this reading age ands at this price". Since the illustrators varied from book to book, and were not quite as attractive as the earlier books, this remains to be seen! The familiar name of John Leigh-Permberton crops up regularly as artist.

The series progressed in leaps and bounds, ending up with over 40 editions, unnumbered after 35, unless you know better. Somewhere round about issue 23, the matt covers were replaced with the shiny ones that were to last until the very end.The distinctive red/white spine makes these volumes easy to spot in a pile of books and so they are fun to collect. Certain volumes seem a lot rarer than others, but then as I found with "big animals" three come along at once!

As you can see from the list below, the subject matter was exceptionally diverse, but clearly links in with school syllabi, covering topics from nature and geography, with a fair smattering of "boys" subjects like bridges and soldiers.


1 water
2 ducks and swans
3 man in the air
4 man and his car
5 lions and tigers
6 man on the sea
7 dinosaurs      
8 castles 22 the tree and its world  
9 baby animals 23 air  
10 roads 24 seals and whales  
11 song birds 25 reptiles  
12 trains 26 deserts  
13 bridges 27 the stream  
14 homes 28 coffee  
15 leaves 29 fire  
16 soldiers 30 chocolate and cocoa  
17 sounds 31 bread  
18 big animals 32 polar regions  
19 under the ground 33 mountains  
20 apes and monkeys 34 forests  
21 living things 35
  bears and pandas   islands  
  tea   the tree and it's world