One of the best things about charity shop shopping is that you never know what you're going to come home with. I always keep an eye out for old Ladybird books, but one recent trip to my most local shop proved to be extremely fruitful when I found several titles, including three from the Hannibal series, which is part of wider series 497 (Animal Stories).
Now, I hadn't heard of Hannibal before this trip, but he is the hamster star of six books, all published between 1976 and 1978.
Inquisitive, friendly and brave, he seizes every opportunity to escape and see as much of the outside world as he can. Sometimes however his curiosity leads him into trouble, for how can he know which creatures he can trust? But he is always rescued in time, when he is glad to return to the comfort and security of his own cage.
Hannibal on the nature trail is the story of what happens when Hannibal manages to escape from his cage when this family stop off at a nature reserve on the way home from a family holiday. I have to admit that I had never thought of taking a pet hamster on a family holiday with you, but I guess that's what people used to do.
Once Hannibal has escaped he meets other creatures who live on the nature trail and they tell him the story of how man first came to spoil the area through his mining for iron-ore and then reversed what he had done by creating the reserve in which they all now live. There's no doubt that this is a clear lesson for all children reading as to the damage that man can do to the environment, but as it is presented through the different animals who live there it's all done quite softly and so children can easily follow it.
Through what can only be described a some sort of a miracle, the reserve warden (who is aware of the missing hamster) amazingly manages to find Hannibal before nightfall, and before he is eaten by a weasle, and he is looked after until his family can collect him the next day.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thank you!