City gallery to host Ladybird book exhibit

Ladybird Books were a firm children's favourite

An exhibition to that timeless children’s favourite the Ladybird book will start in Canterbury next month.

The Beaney in the High Street is inviting visitors to relive their childhood through the books and their artwork produced from 1940 to 1975.

Describing it as “an unparalleled collection of books, original artwork and artefacts”, the Beaney will be staging the exhibit throughout the summer.

Ladybird book enthusiast Helen Day is helping to curate the exhibition. She has been researching and collecting original Ladybird books and artwork for more than 20 years.

She said: “I’ll be showing lots of original artwork – much from Ladybird books but it is also a look at the other work that these artists produced.

Ladybird Books enthusiast Helen Day

“There will, of course, be masses of books, many which you can browse through, and ephemera and some of the hundreds of quirky bits of information that I’ve picked up over the years.

“There will be something for all ages and activities, too.”

Ladybird books were a staple of a many child’s upbringing in the second half of the 20th century.

While the books began to become increasingly popular in the 1950s, the company itself is more than 100 years old.

They covered hundreds of topics including everything ordinary facets of everyday life such as the postal system or British wildflowers to the histories of men like Alexander the Great and Scott of the Antarctic.

Ladybird remained an independent company until becoming part of the Pearson Group in 1972. By 1998 it was part of Penguin Books.

The Ladybird book exhibition is the Beaney’s main show of the summer. It takes place in the special exhibition gallery on the first floor and runs from Saturday, June 9 to Sunday, September 23.


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