& Hepworth published their first Ladybird pocket-sized book
in 1940 - it was called Bunnikin's Picnic Party and was the
start of series
When was the first Ladybird book published?
A. Up until 1972 Henry
Wills and William Hepworth were the owners of Ladybird before
it was sold to the Pearson Group - In 1999, Ladybird became
integrated into the Penguin Group and the Ladybird's
original printing site in Loughborough was closed down.
Who owns Ladybird Books?
A. Frederick Warne &
Co own the copyright to all Ladybird images - the exceptions
to this are the 1940/50s and 1960s logos which are own by Dorling
Who owns the copyright to Ladybird imagery?
A. Yes, Ladybird continue
to publish a wide variety of titles; from books for babies and
toddlers, to reading schemes, home learning and National Curriculum
titles, activity books, film tie-ins as well as classic and
modern stories. Visit
Ladybird's website to see what they currently have
Do Ladybird still publish today?
doubt if Ladybird themselves could put a truly accurate figure
on this, but our research shows that between 1940 and 1980 (the
first forty years)
63 different series were published
which amounts to 663 individual titles.
many titles have Ladybird published?
A. There are many collectable Ladybird books but the
ones that are most sought-after by collectors are High
Tide, The Impatient Horse, The
Adventures of Wonk series, Tootles the Taxi,
The Tinkers Wig and the Tasseltip tales
What Ladybird titles are considered rarest?
Wee do however consider the rarest book of them all to be 'The
Computer - How it Works' (1971) - this is not the standard
issue but rather a private publication that was especially produced
for the Ministry of Defence in 1972. The M.O.D
specifically asked for the book to be published in plain covers
and without copyright information as not to embarrass their
more about rare Ladybird titles >
have been literally hundreds of authors and illustrators who
have been employed by Ladybird Books. The more prolific Ladybird
writers include, Vera Southgate, A
J MacGregor, Noel Barr, L
Du Garde Peach and Sheila McCullagh.
The youngest author to write for Ladybird was Jayne
Fisher, who at the age of six started her Garden Gang
Who were the authors & illustrators?
There have also been writing contributions from Sir
Paul McCartney and Spike Milligan.
Some of the more well known Ladybird illustrators include A
J MacGregor for his 401 books, Robert Lumley
and Eric Winter for most of the Well
Loved Tales and Harry
Wingfield, who was responsible for over a third of
the artwork for the Key Words Reading Scheme
books otherwise known as the Peter and Jane
Famous artist C F Tunnicliffe also illustrated
five books for Ladybird - What to Look For in Spring,
Summer, Autumn and Winter were a set of four books
within the 'Nature' series, 536. A slightly later series, 563,
saw another title, The Farm, being illustrated
A. It is actually quite
hard to identify a first edition Ladybird book - only later
editions from the 1970s onwards would state 'First Edition'
on the copyright page of their books. The earlier books from
1940 to 1965 are harder to identify but there are quite a few
guidelines to follow that will help you determine whether you
have a first edition or not. Find
How can I spot a first edition Ladybird book?
Well Loved Tales series has
to be one of Ladybird's top sellers - these were popular fairy
tales adapted by Vera Southgate and illustrated
mainly by Eric Winter and Robert Lumley.
What are the most popular Ladybird books?
Words Reading Scheme books, more commonly known as
the Peter and Jane books, were hugely popular
with schools and with young mothers who were teaching their
young children how to read. Educationalist, William
Murray, had found that just 12 words make up 25% of
all the words we speak.
Other popular titles in Ladybird include Tootles the
Taxi, Downy Duckling and the What
to look for in Spring, Summer,
Autumn and Winter books which were
illustrated by renowned artist Charles
A. There are quite a few collectable Ladybird
items that you can keep your eye out for - these include, work
cards, workbooks, jigsaws, videoes, film strips and slides etc
Besides books, what else is collectable?
To see some examples of these items, have a look at our other
collectable Ladybird items page.
In 1961 Wills & Hepworth changed their Ladybird logo from that of an open-winged ladybird to one with closed wings.