In an attempt to curb my Ladybird collection in some way I don’t normally pay much attention to the ones with glossy covers. It’s just my way of trying to reduce the number that come home from the charity shop with me. That plan doesn’t always work though, and in the case of You Must Be Joking! I’m glad it didn’t.
I suppose the glossy Ladybirds that I keep an eye out for are the non-fiction ones. The titles that were released as some sort of a special edition. You Must Be Joking! is a collection of children’s jokes in aid of Save the Children. Released on 1986 the book has a forward by HRH The Princess Anne as HRH The Princess Royal was known then (she became Princess Royal in 1987). For those of you that remember the 80s, this was a year before she appeared on the, ill-fated, Royal version of It’s a Knockout representing the charity.
All the jokes in You Must Be Joking! were submitted by children of the Ladybird Book Club, and inside the back cover is a list of the schools that they attended. Inside the front cover is a page of photographs showing the work of Save the Children and a description of the work that they do, both overseas and here in the UK.
The book is split into different categories, with pages of Knock, Knock jokes, Doctor, Doctor ones, Limericks and Cross the Road jokes in addition to more general pages of jokes. All pages are illustrated in a bright, eye-catching way, an the credit for the design, illustration and calligraphy is given to Judith Wood and Michael Nicholls of Hurlston Design Ltd.
Working out what series Ladybird books of the 1980s belong to isn’t easy. There is one list that I often use, but I have previously found that this doesn’t contain everything. You Must Be Joking! doesn’t appear on the list and to be honest I”m not totally sure which series it belongs to. It sometimes is listed online with Hobbies written in brackets after the title (as also appears in the British Library Cataloguing section inside the front of the book), suggesting that it might belong to the hobbies series, but it’s not totally clear if it is or not. Yet another ladybird book to investigate further. There’s certainly a theme here when it comes to Ladybird books!
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.