Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Laughing Policeman. NOT.

Remember Peter and Jane?

Of course you do. Well, if you're over 40 anyway. Whatever became of them? "This is Peter. This is Jane. Peter likes Jane. Jane likes Peter..." etc. The banality of it all makes you laugh in retrospect, doesn't it?  But they actually produced hundreds of these famous little books and I'm quite sure I enjoyed reading them in my time.

The Peter and Jane series, one of the more than 60 series actually produced, was based on a very limited set of key words to help very young children to learn to read. Other popular series include the Well Loved Tales, Tootles the Taxi, What to Look for in Spring (etc.), and the extremely popular How It Works and How To... books explaining common modern appliances and useful processes. See below for two highly practical new titles in the updated series...

Well things have changed, the world has moved on, and a bit of updating was sorely needed. These have been published on plenty of websites already but we make no apologies for sharing them here just in case you missed these gems the first time round. So here we offer you a sneak preview of some pages from the new version of the People at Work: The Policeman title. Click on the open page images for a larger version. Enjoy.

As with many classic children's book series, there's now a mini-collectors' industry based around these titles, with fanatics desperately on the look out for the rarest ones, such as The Impatient Horse, The Tinkers Wig and the timeless (well, kind of) Adventures of Wonk series.

Apparently the youngest Ladybird author was little Jayne Fisher, woh started her Garden Gang series at the innocent age of six. I'm a bit nervous that the new publisher responsible for the images above is going to get hold of the Garden Gang books and do something horrible with them. Shudder.
Other titbits of useless info include the fact that Spike Milligan and Paul McCartney have contributed to the series and that around 660 individual titles are likely to have been published.

The rarest book of them all, according to The Wee Web website, could be an early computer handbook, and I quote:
"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 training staff!"
If you want to see some of the pages I left out from the new version of The Policeman, visit this page, and if you want to see what's currently (and really) on offer, then check out the Ladybird site and wallow in some sort of nostalgia.


Hotch Potch English: "The SNAIL" ~ The Laughing Policeman. NOT.
Created & written by Sab Will
Copyright 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch English ~ The Unique English Language Website
More creative Sab: Paris Set Me Free

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