Books

The Classic Ladybird Books Are Getting An Adult Remake

Timmy is looking for a date. 

He's downloaded the popular dating application Tinder to his mobile phone. It's a friendly virtual space where adults are able to arrange meetings and a new hobby called 'Netflix and Chill'.

Timmy has a match. It's Jane. They have four friends in common, and both enjoy rock climbing.

Timmy asks Jane how her day is. It's an enjoyable conversation. Then Jane asks Timmy how tall he is. He is five feet and seven inches.

Jane blocks Timmy, because Jane only goes on dates with men over six feet in height. This is a common law of dating.

This is how we imagine the new Ladybird Books are going to read.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the wholesome, concise children's guides, Penguin is releasing eight new titles for the series - aimed squarely at an adult readership.

Penned by Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley (who've previously penned scripts for Miranda and That Mitchell and Webb Look), the titles of the new series are suitably tongue-in-cheek:

  • The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis
  • The Ladybird Book of Dating
  • The Ladybird Book of the Hangover
  • The Ladybird Book of the Hipster
  • The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness
  • The Ladybird Book of the Shed
  • How it works: The Wife
  • How it works: The Husband

Rather than commissioning new artists for the series, Morris and Hazeley draw on the original illustrations commissioned by publisher Douglas Keen back in the 1930s.

"It’s like being allowed to mess about with a national treasure," Morris told The Independent. "It’s like repainting Saint Paul’s."

The books cost £6.99 each, arriving 19 November. You can preorder them here, or wait for them to arrive as a knowingly ironic Christmas present from your parents.

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