Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Well Loved Tales

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Well Loved Tales Ladybird Books Well Loved Tales 1960s 1970s Retro Musings

Well loved tales ladybird books fairy tales 1964 1974

Well Loved Tales was a series of illustrated re-tellings of fairy tales and other traditional stories published by Ladybird between 1964 and the early 1990s. The books were labelled as "easy reading" and were graded depending on such aspects as their length, complexity and vocabulary. Most of the stories in the series were based on stories by Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, alongside a number of traditional English folk tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs. The first title in the series was Cinderella, and over the next decade, twenty seven titles were published, all written by Vera Southgate. In 1979, with the publication of The Ugly Duckling, Pinocchio and Tom Thumb. in the series, the look and format of the books changed. The books now universally featured a green spine and back cover, as well as a standard logo. The series also broke with the Ladybird tradition of having a left page of just text and a right page of just picture, and the illustrations became more stylised than the previous editions. Older titles were gradually re-illustrated over the years. Under this new look, even more titles retold by a variety of different editors and authors came to be added over the course of the 1980s, with popular stories including Hansel and Gretel, The Little Mermaid and The Wizard of Oz.


Well Loved Tales Ladybird Books Well Loved Tales 1960s 1970s Retro Musings

The series gradually went out of print in the early 1990s, yet the current "Ladybird Tales" series has reused some of the original Well Loved Tales texts.

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Well Loved Tales THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA a Vintage Ladybird Book Well Loved Tales

Titles in the series were translated into many different languages including Arabic, German and French. Eventually sales in the series sold upwards of 80 million copies worldwide. The older books have been known to fetch quite high prices on the secondhand market; for example, first editions of "Cinderella" with a dust jacket have been known to go for as much as £150.

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Perhaps due to the nostalgia for some of the earlier titles in the series, later editions with more stylised illustrations are often held by some with lesser regard. Equally, the original editions of the 1960s and 1970s have been criticised for their illustrations for being lifeless and not leaving much to the imagination. Equally, some have raised concerns over the drastic abridging of longer stories such as Pinocchio and the right to retelling distinctly literary fairy tales with a clear author such as Hans Christian Andersen.

List of tales published in the series

Well Loved Tales Cinderella Wellloved Tales Amazoncouk Vera Southgate
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • The Gingerbread Boy (narrated by Nigel Pegram)
  • The Little Red Hen
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • The Sly Fox and the Little Red Hen
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • Chicken Licken
  • The Enormous Turnip
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • The Magic Porridge Pot
  • The Big Pancake
  • The Old Woman and her Pig
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Thumbelina
  • Town Mouse and Country Mouse
  • The Tinder Box
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Dick Whittington and his Cat
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Rapunzel
  • The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Musicians of Bremen
  • Pinocchio
  • The Golden Goose
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The Goose Girl
  • The Brave Little Tailor
  • The Emperor and the Nightingale
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Cinderella
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Snow White and Rose Red
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Tom Thumb
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Firebird
  • Peter and the Wolf
  • References

    Well Loved Tales Wikipedia

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