As an adult you can often find yourself wistfully yearning for the simplicity of childhood. There was no council tax, no sitting in an office, no emails, no “networking,” no anxiety about sweat patches, no LinkedIn….the list is endless. Perhaps the objects that most succinctly sum up the curiosity and simplicity of childhood are Ladybird books. Their helpful, measured tone and sensitive painterly illustrations meant that learning about anything from a printing press to Joan of Arc seemed manageable and enjoyable.
Now, that same reassuring tone has been appropriated for some of the biggest and most knotty things in adulthood, thanks to a new satirical “how it works” series penned by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, whose CVs boast writing credits for shows like Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe and the Paddington film. Celebrating the Penguin imprint’s 100th birthday, the eight books include The Husband, The Wife, Dating and The Hangover. They use images from the extensive Ladybird archive as they were found, and the text simply complements the idealised images. It makes for a hilarious pairing, in a very similar vein to Miriam Elia’s superb We go to the Gallery Series (more on that here).
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