Janet and john books images
Cops and robbers Janet and Allan Ahlberg
A Book in the Hand: Essays on the History of the Book in New Zealand
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Seller Rating:. Condition: Good. Owner's name on cover. Seller Inventory Q14A More information about this seller Contact this seller 1. Published by Summersdale Publishers About this Item: Summersdale Publishers,
Am I the only person who doesn't find that Ladybird's images of childhood suffuse me with a rosy glow? It isn't that I didn't have a happy childhood or that I didn't like the books. Tootles the Taxi was my all-time favourite, but even then I felt Ladybird presented a world of stifling conformity - vests, lace-up shoes, berets for girls, calling any female adult "Auntie". What we celebrate as a time of freedom - Ladybird children wandered the streets without parents worrying - was in other ways very restricting. Doing things right was what mattered and there was a very narrow consensus about "right", which was largely predicated on making sure children pleased adults - writing thank-you letters, helping daddy wash the car, walking the dog. These are all good and useful things but they aren't empowering or liberating.
Janet and John is the title of a series of early reading books for children, originally published in the UK by James Nisbet and Co in four volumes in — It was one of the first series making use of the "look and say" approach to early reading. Further books were added later, and the series became hugely popular in the s and 60s, both in the UK and in New Zealand. By the s the books were considered to be outdated, and several updated versions were issued. Facsimiles of two of the original volumes were reprinted in to cater for the nostalgia market. The first volumes of the —50 Janet and John series were simply called Books One to Four  and presented, using limited vocabulary, incidents from the daily life of a brother and sister.
Once upon a time, everybody learnt to read with Janet and John. This apparently middle-class nuclear family featured Father - slicked hair, grey slacks, blank expression - and Mother - surprising Hepburn-esque cropped hair and primary colour clothes. Then there was Janet - blonde hair in bunches, typically seen in a dress or a skirt - and John - curly reddish hair and always in shorts. It was easy to imagine Father managing a small-town branch of Barclays, while Mother churned out jam for the WI. Over the years they have been wickedly parodied by Terry Wogan and others, and provided the backdrop for more inclusive views of family structure, such as Jenny lives with Eric and Martin.