Ladybird Tuesday - Talkabout starting school


With an inset day on Monday, it is today that is truly the end of my Christmas Holidays as my little foxes go back to school.  Little Una Fox is in Year 2, Louis, is still a baby really, only 3, but goes to nursery 5 mornings a week at the same school as Una.  

With this in mind when it came to choosing this week's Ladybird Tuesday book Starting School seemed to jump right out at me.  Starting School is part of Ladybird’s talkabout series, compiled by Margaret West and Ethel Wingfield and illustrated by Harry Wingfield and published in 1977

The talkabout series are simple books that are intended to be used  - and enjoyed - with young children, giving parents an opportunity to discuss everyday experiences with their children.  The books were planned with the help of nursery school advisers and have a section at the back of the book with suggestions on how parents should use them.

Ladybird Books - Starting School






"Education begins long before a child goes to infant school...

All the books in this talkabout series are designed to stimulate conversation between child and adult encourage the early growth of vocabulary assist mental development and provide a sound basis for future progress in reading and general awareness."










The first line of Starting School is rather lovely, and really is the most important thing for most children starting school: 


Ladybird Books - Starting School

I like that the parent notes explain that the text is written with not too many questions.  As conversation with young children’s should not be all about quizing them and expecting the “right” answers.  In encouraging them to explore and identify their world parents are supporting their children’s growing independence.  This independence is a key target of early years education.  And the image in Starting School to illustrate this shows how little some aspects of early years education have changed. 

Ladybird Books - Starting School

The illustrations display the typical ladybird realism and mean children can easily identify everyday objects and situations recognisable to them.  I do rather love the cover of this book that looks like a collage made of paper and wool - so 70’s!   The school dinners also look typically 70's:


Ladybird Books - Starting School

The emphasis on the people and things that a child will typically come across in their nursery day are also still very relevant; toilet training, cooking, PE, music time, reading, story circles, playtime outside with children dressed for the typically inclement British weather, school milk...

Ladybird Books - Starting School

I think I have a pretty typical experience with my daughter and our school that a lot of expectation is placed on parents to read regularly with their children to help them learn to read. 

Ladybird Books - Starting School




The parent’s notes at the back of this book stress patience and understanding when reading these books with your children. I confess I certainly do not always feel like the most patient of parents and often feel a little sorry for my daughter that she is stuck with impatient me as her mum.  On the hand, she is now a confident reader and I am immensely proud of her every time I hear her reading a sign on the high street, or the newspaper over her daddy’s shoulder, or giggling over Roald Dahl’s “silly” words.  All our hard work was absolutely worth it.

Ladybird Books - Starting School

This post is part of Ladybird Tuesday started on the Being Mrs C blog, take a look at her posts here, this weeks is on the book Magnets Bulbs and Batteries

And the rest of ours are here and if you have a collection of Ladybird books, please do feel free to join in.

10 comments

  1. Ah, a time when the children got their lunch on a proper plate instead of a plastic tray like in a prison. And the school milk - how I hated it!

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    1. I know, and that's mushy peas on the plate isn't it? That's soooo mushy peas!

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  2. This takes me back so much! :-) Love it.

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    1. Those innocent primary school days were just magical weren't they?

      My little Una LOVES school and it is so heartwarming when she says things like; "I don't have a best friend, all my class is my best friend!" Gush, gush, I must stop or I will sound so wet!

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  3. I love this! We have a few old books but they aren't in the best condition. We have some of the Read It Yourself book and Puddle Lane. Boy-child finds Puddle Lane far too tame though!

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    1. Please join in Hayley, we'd love to have you. I've not managed to put something up every week, and nor has Lemon Layer Cake who also joins posts, but, I'm loving it and Mrs C's got some great books too.

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  4. This was one of my favourite books ever. Loved Ladybird Puppies and Kittens too. Fab books.

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    1. I love the old Ladybird books, as you may have spotted from all the posts, and I am finding that the children love them too.

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  5. I am trying to find an edition of the book that I am sure I saw in my local dentist in which there is a page of the class deciding on where to go on their trip, the seaside or the zoo, by voting. Can anyone help me find this illustration, it is important for an exhibition I am trying to create, celebrating the progressive primary school and those who struggled for schools to be places of fun and learning.

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    1. I've checked Talkabout: Starting School and it is not an illustration from this edition. I've also had a quick look through my Ladybird collection in case there is any other title that might have the illustration you are referring to and no luck I'm afraid.

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