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Ladybird books throw colour at Canterbury

Photo:

A new exhibition focusing on the artwork in Ladybird Books has gone on display in Canterbury.

It uncovers the story of the artists who illustrated the books for more than thirty years.

For the first time, a collection of books, original artwork and artefacts has been put on display.

Watch this report by Jenna Verdicchio:

Ladybird books have always been a familiar fixture on children's bookshelves.

They started life during the First World War as much bigger books. It wasn't until the paper shortage during the Second World War when they were scaled down to how they look today.

The classic pocket-sized mini-hardback Ladybird book measured roughly 4.5 by 7 inches.

Early books used a standard 56-page format so that a complete book could be printed on one large standard sheet of paper, called a quad crown, measuring 40 by 30 inches. It was then folded and cut to size without any waste.

For almost 30 years, the books could be bought for 12.5p, or two shillings and sixpence. It was economical way of producing the books so they could be sold at a low price.

Manda Gifford, Beaney House of Art and Knowledge:

The artwork is thanks to the talented illustrators, but Ladybird earn much of their commercial success to the vision of Douglas Keen.

Helen Day, Collector and Curator:

While the artists own lives found themselves in the illustrations of Ladybird, it was their prior work that influenced the books- including iconic railway posters.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 23rd September.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 23rd September Credit: ITV Meridian