Ladybird books capture foibles of modern Britain.
THE Ladybird books that are now featuring on a new set of stamps is a trip of nostalgia for the baby boomer generation. They were an essential tool for parents and teachers of infant and junior schools in the later years of World War Two and the subsequent postwar years.
The topics were as diverse as how it is made to people at work. Fast forward to the cyber tablet and iPod generation and the new titles have taken on a surreal twist. The pastel coloured olde worlde style of freshfaced youngsters and immaculatelydressed mums and dads still appear on the cover, but the titles reflect today's lifestyles with titles such as The Ladybird Book of Red tape, Next door, The Sickie and embracing popular film and TV shows like The Zombie Apocalypse. All very funny, but aimed at adults. I spotted one that I suspect I will get for Christmas entitled The Grandparent.
If you know where to look on the internet the titles put out by the unauthorised press make interesting reading. The titles cannot be printed in family papers, suffice it to say that the police, politicians, bankers and the catholic church get a right drubbing, and that is putting it mildly. But the artwork on the covers are true to the style of time and place of the original publications, and very funny in their depictions of modern Britain and all its foibles and faults.
Teenagers, hipsters, junkies and dopeheads are represented, in fact there is no section of the main stream or dark side of society that is not represented.
I cannot see W H Smith or Waterston's offering them for sale any time soon, more's the pity they would be a good counterpoint to the staid boring mainstream tomes that seem to dominate the highbrow late night talk shows on BBC4 etc.
The world needs to lighten up, laugh a little and I cannot find a better solution than reading and enjoying a swipe at ourselves and our many and convoluted lifestyles.
Shakespeare it is not, nor is it Chubby Brown, but what it is is Great Britain having a laugh at itself in that peculiar and unique way that is quintessentially British. Tony Levy, by email.
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Twitter: @birminghammail Facebook: facebook.com/birminghammail Post: Birmingham Mail, Floor 6, Fort Dunlop, Fort Parkway, B24 9FF Teenagers, hipsters, junkies and dopeheads are represented, in fact there is no section of the main stream or dark side of society that is not represented Tony Levy