When you look at some of the old Ladybird series they just don't quite make sense. Series 682 was originally released to show children about domesticated animals, but as the series title suggests it ended up with only two titles, Dogs and Horses. Why it was not extended I have no idea.
This book starts off by pointing out the vital role that horses played in life before other forms of transported were invented – one that many children may not think of. Starting with the basic anatomy of the horse, how they have evolved over time, along with their role, is described.
Mr C has always feared that Little Miss C will become one of those little girls who dreams of horses and wants one of her own. I'm not too sure we can fit one in the garden for starters. Then there's the idea of vets bills and having to get up early every morning to do things like muck them out.
As agriculture developed, and the plough and other heavy farming tools invented, the horse's role also developed as perfect for helping farmers increase the amount of land they could work using machinery. Initially though the British horse was still too small for this new role and oxen were used instead. British horses breeding with other European breeds that were brought over produced the heavy horses that we traditionally know today.
Here in Britain horses are still a familiar site in many of the Royal events that we have seen in recent years. Even the recent funeral procession for Baroness Thatcher included horses at the centre of it. The police also still use horses when policing large crowds at events like protests or football matches and it's a role that I can't see disappearing any time soon.
Whilst this is an informative book I have to say that it doesn't exactly thrill me. Although I did ride as a child I was never horse obsessed in the way that many girls are. Also, a horse isn't exactly an achievable "pet" for many children, so whilst they may have an interest in horses or riding I would have actually though that a range of books on domestic animals that they can easily have as pets (cats, rabbits, hamsters etc.) would have been of more practical use. Yes, their changing role over time is useful and important but is it worthy of being half a whole Ladybird series? Not in my mind.
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. Thanks!
I've also compiled an index of all the vintage Ladybird books I own and everyone's Ladybird Tuesday posts to date – organised by series. It satisfies my inner geek and hopefully will also be of interest to others too.