The Wee Web - exploring Ladybird books
Search Title  Search Keyword advanced search >
Ladybird books - information regarding Wills & Hepworth

Ladybird Info
A Ladybird History
Browse the Ladybird Series & their Books
Identify Your Edition
Book Formats
The Image Gallery
Authors & Illustrators
FAQs & Answers
Rare Editions
Ephemera and other Collectables
ITA Ladybird
Ladybird News Archive

Popular Series
Well Loved Tales
Key Words Reading Scheme
Adventures from History
People at Work

help menu
about us
terms & conditions
privacy policy
contact us

Boys and Girls
Recommend this
page to a friend

Ladybird series 641
The Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme - Peter and Jane books
42 titles published between 1940 and 1980
In 1964 Ladybird launched their world renowned Key Words Reading Scheme series.

Commonly known as the Peter and Jane books, this series was to be used by parents and schools throughout the UK.

Over 100 million copies have been sold round the world.

The author, William Murray, was an educational adviser for a borstal and, later, head of what was then called a "school for the educationally subnormal" in Cheltenham.

During the 1950s Murray did some research with an educational psychologist, a Professor McNally from Manchester University. They worked on written material and speech, using a Grundig tape recorder, and established that 12 words make up a quarter of everything we speak, read and write."

In 1962 they published a 41-page pamphlet on their research - click on the image opposite for details.

Murray and McNally also concluded that 100 words account for half and 300 words make up three-quarters of our verbal output. Ladybird emphasises this message in the introduction to every Key Words book before Peter and Jane and Mummy and Daddy go on to repeat those words at every opportunity.

The Key Word books were devided into 3 grades, grade a, grade b and grade c, with each having 12 books.

Although the first Key Words books were published in 1964, it wasn’t until 1968 that the Reading Scheme was officially launched – it was important for Ladybird to be able to release the Scheme in it’s entirety (36 books), and therefore the books were put in a stockroom until all the later titles were written and published.
Peter and Jane pictures
Some samples of the artwork in the Key Words books

Related Articles

Peter & Jane are word perfect

The Original Jane

The 'Key Words Reading Scheme' books
All entries describe the first edition of each title.

1a - Play with us - William Murray -
2a - We have fun - William Murray -
3a - Things we like - William Murray -
4a - Things we do - William Murray -
5a - Where we go - William Murray -
6a - Our Friends - William Murray -
7a - Happy Holiday - William Murray -
8a - Sunny Days - William Murray -
9a - Games we like - William Murray -
1b - Look at this - William Murray -
2b - Have a go - William Murray -
3b - Boys and Girls - William Murray -
1c - Read and write - William Murray -
2c - I like to write - William Murray -
3c - Let me write - William Murray -
4c - Say the Sound - William Murray -
5c - More Sounds to say - William Murray -
6c - Reading with sounds - William Murray -
4b - Fun at the Farm - William Murray -
5b - Out in the Sun - William Murray -
6b - We like to help - William Murray -
7b - Fun and games - William Murray -
8b - The big house - William Murray -
7c - Easy to sound - William Murray -
8c - Fun with sounds - William Murray -
9c - Enjoying Reading - William Murray -
10a - Adventure on the island - William Murray -
11a - Mystery on the island - William Murray -
12a - Mountain Adventure - William Murray -
9b - Jump from the sky - William Murray -
10b - Adventure at the castle - William Murray -
11b - The carnival - William Murray -
12b - The holiday camp mystery - William Murray -
10c - Learning is fun - William Murray -
11c - Books are exciting - William Murray -
12c - The open door to reading - William Murray -
Teaching Reading - William Murray -
Book 1 - The Record Breakers - William Murray -
Book 2 - Danger Men - William Murray -
Book 3 - A First 'Do You Know' Book - William Murray -
Book 4 - A Second 'Do You Know' Book - William Murray -
Book 5 - A Third 'Do You Know' Book - William Murray -
Book 6 - Some Great Men and Women - William Murray -
<< back to all series
Ladybird Articles
The M.O.D. Computer book myth
Tootling About - registration plates
Ladybird protest NHS sex manual
Pagan birdlife inspired by Ladybird
more articles >

Barbara Brill - Ladybird author
read about
Barbara Brill
Random fact

Ladybird books are each made with 52 pages which are folded from one sheet of paper measuring 40 inches by 30 inches.

BUY OUR definitive guide to LADYBIRD BOOKS

Other Wee Web projects
Author / Illustrator database
Visit our
Ladybird Blog