I don’t usually feature two books in one Ladybird Tuesday post, but these two books (from different Ladybird series) are actually the same book. Understanding Maps was originally published by Ladybird in 1967 as part of series 671. A series that only ever contained one title and was called Understanding Maps after that title. Learnabout… Maps came later as part of series 634, the Learnabout series.
The Learnabout… series
Ladybird used to do this thing where they released a series with a book or two in it and then, as if one part of the company hadn’t been talking to another part, suddenly the same book would be published again as part of a different series. Maps wasn’t the only title that this happened to. If you look at series 633 (Hobbies / Things to Make) it seems that several titles in this series were published at the same time in the Learnabout series too. Exactly the same contents, but with a different cover.
OS Map Conventional Signs
The text inside the two books is identical. Both even give that away by having the same copyright date of 1967 in them. One way to tell them apart is that inside the front cover is a two page spread on “conventional signs” used on Ordnance Survey Maps.
The difference is that in Understanding Maps this refers to the One Inch Maps (Seventh Series) and is copyright 1960, yet in my copy Learnabout… Maps it instead refers to the first series of 1:50,000 maps, is copyright 1974, the year OS maps went metric. By now motorways appear in blue, rather than being lumped in with red A roads as they were before.
Inside Understanding Maps
Whichever covered version of this book you get your hands on doesn’t really matter. It is a wonderful book to teach the basics of map reading and is the perfect way to start off a love affair with maps. It covers everything from the first maps through to scales, gradients, contour lines, orientating your map, symbols, the grid system, geographical features and even the setting up of the Ordnance Survey. There are pages on road maps, rural maps, aerial photography, weather maps, physical maps, geology, population, rainfall and land-use maps and even navigation at sea. Apart from obviously not covering satellite navigation and the likes of Google maps there isn’t really anything concerning paper maps that it doesn’t cover.
One of my favourite pages has to be the one on roads, railways, rivers and canals which clearly shows what combinations on a map might look like in real life. It’s a wonderful way of translating what is on paper into reality. It looks wonderful to me on the cover of Understanding Maps and in a way I think it a shame that the cover of Learnabout… Maps looks so dull in comparison.
Ladybird during Lockdown
During lockdown my daughter had some tasks to do for Cubs which involved maps and just handing over a copy of Ladybird’s Understanding Maps gave her everything she needed to know to read a map properly and to understand the grid system.
The key at the front of Learnabout… Maps helped her understand an OS map of our local area, and successfully find our house on it. She then followed on the map our usual route to school and she could look at all the different features we pass on the map and know what they look like in real life. An excellent spot of learning in action if I say so myself. Someone should give her current teacher a pay rise…
About Ladybird Tuesday
Ladybird Tuesday is a regular feature here on Penny Reads, where I delve into my Ladybird book collection and choose a title to share with my readers. The weekly series originally started on my old blog, Being Mrs C, and this post originally appeared on there. I’m now in the process of moving all those posts over to Penny Reads and also adding titles that I have acquired since then. A list is currently being compiled here of all the titles I have in my collection.