Who doesn’t love a Ladybird book?
The text has the reassuring condescension of a public information film combined with illustrations full of a matter-of-fact surrealism which can only really work in books for children.
I have a whole shelf of them at my mum’s, which I should start ferrying over sometime.
One of my favourites was the Ballet book, and when I found it in a charity shop, I snapped it up (along with a few others).
I still have very vivid memories of the illustrations (their influence on my make-up style can’t be overstated) and the thrill of finally fulfilling my ambition of seeing Checkmate on stage slightly overshadowed all memories of the production itself.
I’m not the only one to have imbibed the Ladybird zeitgeist, artist Miriam Elia has created We go to the gallery, published by Dung Beetle books which aims to guide children through the world of contemporary art where, ‘with Mummy’s help, they will discover that real meaning does not exist and that death is final.’