Ladybird Books

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All images from De La Warr Pavilion website

Over the May Day bank holiday weekend I paid a visit to the Ladybird by design exhibition at the Del La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. I only found out about it at Easter and it has since finished so I was lucky to make it there. The De La Warr Pavilion is a wonderful space, a modernist structure with sweeping lines and beautiful views over the seafront (very grey and blustery when I was there, which kind of added to the charm in a way.) I also really appreciate the fact that it’s very much a public space, with free exhibitions and kids activities. I was impressed by the exhibition being free and also the sheer volume of artworks on display. The great thing about the ladybird books is how familiar they are. I think almost everyone there from old to young has fond memories of at least one ladybird book. They also had a great wall showcasing dozens and dozens of different titles, it was fun trying to find ones we recognised. Two interesting facts about the books were one; that each book was printed on a single large sheet of paper and two; that the price remained constant for something like 30 years, which has to be a very rare thing. Some of the artworks looked rather un pc and gender stereotyped by todays standards and others looked surprisingly modern in the use of colour and composition – such as the first image in this post. I of course love children’s books, particularly vintage ones, so the whole exhibition was a delight to me. I went to a jumble sale a week later and actually picked up a couple of the ‘peter and jane’ (key word) books which I just couldn’t resist.  I’ll do an additional post about my own collection of ladybird books soon

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