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.
|2||ducks and swans|
|3||man in the air|
|4||man and his car|
|5||lions and tigers|
|6||man on the sea|
|8||castles||22||the tree and its world|
|10||roads||24||seals and whales|
|16||soldiers||30||chocolate and cocoa|
|18||big animals||32||polar regions|
|19||under the ground||33||mountains|
|20||apes and monkeys||34||forests|
|bears and pandas||islands|
|tea||the tree and it's world|