A classic comes of age? Ladybird books for grown-ups

Ladybird books logoThe official Ladybird Classics site http://www.vintageladybird.com/ tells us that the printers Wills & Hepworth, from Loughborough in England, registered the Ladybird trade mark in 1915.  During the First World War, the company started publishing wholesome and healthy literature for children, in an attempt to sustain profits during the war years.

However, it was not until the early 1950s, under the guidance of Douglas Keen, that Ladybird Books established itself as a respected and well known children’s brand. Titles covered a vast range of subjects and interests, including British heritage, history, fairy tales, family stories, travel and pirates! The 1950s to the 1970s are often thought of as Ladybird’s ‘golden age’.

Ladybird books for children were affordable and designed to balance education with entertainment – and words with beautiful, detailed pictures. Distinguished commercial artists, rather than children’s book illustrators, created the artwork for each story, which made them unique. The illustrations in each book were full of light and colour and reflected the optimism of people in post-war Britain. Those books focusing on contemporary Britain depicted a utopian lifestyle, with happy nuclear families spending time together and a society full of new technology and modern conveniences

Now authors J.A. Hazeley and J.P. Morris have created a range of Ladybird books written specifically for adults. Full of tongue-in-cheek humour, Ladybird Books for Grown Ups are neither wholesome nor healthy!

The HangoverThey carry a similar premise to the original children’s books. “This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books that have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.” Clear, large script, which is easy for children who are learning to read, is ‘thoughtfully’ placed opposite original vintage illustrations, in the style of the classic editions.  These literary devices are designed so that grown-ups will think that they have taught themsleves to cope!

Much of the humour is achieved by the matter of fact, unemotional nature of the text and its placement alongside a sometimes contradictory, or exaggerated illustration. Quintessentially British and cleverly written, you can hear a voice in your head like somebody reading to children about issues relevant to adults, “What a confusing world it can seem with a hangover. Sit as still as you can. Do not attempt to make any decisions. Look out of the window. Can you recognise simple shapes or colours? Is there a moon or a sun in the sky? What sort of a name might you have? Where might there be bacon?” The Hangover, page 12.

402261-MumOne of my favourite excerpts comes from ‘How it works’ The Mum, page 42, “When she was single, Debbie had nightmares about being left alone and unwanted. For the last three years, someone has called for her every two minutes and watched her every time she has taken a bath or sat on the toilet. Debbie now dreams of being left alone and unwanted, even for just a few minutes”.


DatingDating is about everyone’s search to find a partner in life.  This little book will help you to smile and realise that you are not the only one experiencing bad dates, with totally unsuitable people.  Perhaps after reading it you to never look at romance in quite the same way!  On page 46 of Dating, a woman is being served at the counter of a 1950s post office,  “Judith is breaking up with Tony.  She knows a text message can be impersonal so she has come to her local Post Office.  The lady at the counter checks Judith’s envelope is sealed.  If any of the faeces leaks out, the Post Office is not obliged to carry it.  Judith sends her package by recorded delivery.  She can make sure it has reached Tony and know she is single again.”

The ShThe-Sheded explores men’s primal need to have their own space, or rather how use their beloved man cave to escape from family and responsibility, at any given opportunity.



The Mid Life CrisisThe Mid-Life Crisis makes us laugh by talking about the funny things we do in middle age to try and keep up with the times, relive our youth or just make ourselves feel better about growing older. The book starts with “When we are young, we all dream of doing something wonderful and exciting with our lives. What will we be? A cosmonaut? A detective? A tommy gunner? A groin surgeon? Anything is possible. And then, one day, it isn’t.” The facing page features old fashioned style illustrations of an American astronaut, a deep sea diver, army troops heading into battle and a medical team performing surgery. Where did all that time go?


The Hipster uses ridiculous text to make fun of affluent, trendy bearded men and pretentious women.

Other titles which are available in the Ladybird books for grown ups series are Mindfulness, How it works’ : The Wife and  ‘How it works’ : The Husband.   You can borrow Ladybird books for grown ups through the One Card Network. Reserve them online or enquire at the Library.

Go behind the scenes at the Library

Megan Behind the Scenes tour

Have you ever wondered where library staff go when they tell you they need to search “out the back”?   Or thought about how everything you borrow mysteriously gets labels on the covers and put onto the Library’s computer system?

Come on the Library’s Behind the scenes tour to find out the answers to these questions and others that you may have.  You will certainly be surprised!

Date and time:   Thursday 26 May,11am – noon

Cost:  Free. Bookings are essential.  Places are limited.  Tours start at the Ask Here Desk. 

  • Follow the life of a book from purchase to debit.
  • See how a book gets from the supplier to the shelf.
  • Learn about some of the backroom tasks that library staff perform.
  • Discover what happen when you return at item in the chute. 
  • Gain a greater awareness of the volume of resources available for use.

Book online or telephone 8397 7333.

Applying for the police force?

Those who are applying or hoping to apply to join the police force, fire service or armed forces would be familiar with the fitness test that needs to be passed. I’ve heard it called the ‘beep test’, or the shuttle run test. Basically you need to run 20m in a certain amount of time, and there is a cd that you can play that beeps at the times when you need to turn around.

We have been asked several times if the Library has a copy of this CD. We now have found a supplier and added two copies to our collection available for loan. You can find the CD here now in our catalogue, or on the shelf with other titles on fitness and exercise in 613.71.

It’s also a great tool for general aerobic fitness, no matter what your career goals are!


The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn book cover

Tying in with the BBC television series of the same name, The Wonderful World of Albert-Kahn: Colour photographs from a Lost Age  by David Okuefuna is an ‘astonishing collection of early true-colour photographs from around the world.’

 These are true colour pictures from what is usually considered a black and white age, capturing people and events from 40 countries early in the 20th century. Many of the photographs have never been published before, most featuring everyday people, providing a snapshot of cultures past. Check it out at your Library.

Carer’s Resources

Benita, Deidre (HACC) and Councillors Barbaro and McLafferty with the Carer's Resources

Benita, Deidre (HACC) and Councillors Barbaro and McLafferty with the Carer's Resources

The Library, in conjunction with the City of Tea Tree Gully Home and Community Care (HACC) team, recently launched a collection just for carers.

We want to make it easy for people who are carers for family members to access information and stories that are helpful and uplifting. 

Over 50 people attended the launch of the Carer’s Resources, and heard from members of the HACC Team, a representative from Carer’s SA, and a local carer and library member.

Councillor Paul Barbaro opened the Carer’s collection, and Councillor Jim McLafferty was also in attendance.

There were a few kleenex moments, with carer’s talking passionately about how much the respite and support means to them and reconnects them with the world.

You can browse the collection online via the catalogue here.

Researching something?




Looking for up to date, reliable information on a broad range of topics? Go to the Library Databases page where you can  access  Encyclopedia Britannica Online. (Just need to enter your library barcode number).
Keywood search or browse three different areas,

  • Encyclopedia Britannica – suitable for high school students and above
  • Britannica Student – for middle school age students
  • Britannica Junior – suitable for primary and junior primary students

 Let us know what you think!

Save money and the environment

Three Home Energy Toolkits are now available for seven day loan from the Library.  The kits contain everything you need to assess the energy use of your home plus practical tips on reducing energy consumption. Just the thing during a heatwave!




The kits are provided by the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. They include thermometers, a power meter, a compass, stopwatch and full instructions.


As the kits contain specialised equipment, we do ask that they are picked up and returned from the Customer Service Desk.

New Recreation Equipment for summer!

sports-displayYou may be aware of the bats, balls, frisbees and racquets that are available for loan from the Library. We have been on a shopping spree and purchased some more recreation equipment for summer, including a range of things to play with in the pool. From noodles to dive sticks, hoola hoops and skipping ropes, there’s lots of fun and healthy (and free!) entertainment available for the whole family at the Library. Or to help you with your post-Christmas fitness kick, you could borrow a pedometer and some hand weights.

Those who came shopping with us…

… had a fantastic time selecting a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction resources for the library! We had an excellent response with a full complement of fifteen people on hand to choose a range of books, DVDs and music CDs that should be finding their way onto the shelves in the next few weeks!


The Borders library purchasing team!

Our friends at Borders were very hospitable, supplying supper and helping us find the books on the shelves. A great time was had by all and a great way for library users to have a say in what their library holds!


Ray peruses some non-fiction

Jan inspects the range of computing books

Jan inspects the range of computing books