Ladybird Tuesday: Road Sense


A couple of weeks ago here on Ladybird Tuesday we indulged in some car games and at the time I commented on how all the inside of the front cover of the book was devoted to Health and Safety messages. To make sure we all get that message loud and clear this week I'm looking at a whole book devoted to Road Safety, part of series 702 (Learn with Mother).


The book is slightly strange in that you have all these lovely vintage illustrations in traditional Ladybird style, but then overlaid is a cartoon character, Jimmy, who is telling you how to be safe on the roads.

Even more freaky than Jimmy though is the man in the back of the car that you see at the bottom left of the picture above. What the…?


Most of what is covered in the book is the Green Cross Code that I certainly remember learning at school – Stop, Look and Listen. 


When this book was published in 1977 there really were far fewer cars on the road than there are today, and that's also very obvious from all the illustrations.


It's also the case that times have changed in terms of where children are allowed to play compared to 36 years ago. No where near as many children are allowed to play anywhere but their gardens now, and to many the idea of playing is the street is quite alien to them.


Many of the basic messages are still very valid though. Sadly fewer children do walk to and from school now (something that I wish hadn't changed over time) so not many of them would benefit from the fluorescent armbands shown above. I'm pretty sure similar are still available though and I remember from my childhood having a very strange looking pale yellow anorak which all lit up when car headlights caught it.


Not having children of the age at which this book was aimed, I had absolutely no idea what exists today to cover what this book does. There's certainly a Department for Transport booklet aimed at 7-11 year olds entitled Tales of the Road. Not the same vintage style, but hopefully without the slightly freaky Jimmy to teach the children what to do!

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!


  1. says

    Jimmy does seem a little incongruous! Perhaps he was a government character that Ladybird were asked to use – that green cross code looks really familiar from the early eighties but the rest of the book not so much; I wonder whether it’s a collaboration?

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