One particular thing that I love about searching for Ladybird books is that you never know what you're going to find and sometime you come across a book and a whole Ladybird series that you haven't heard of before.
That's exactly what happened when Mr C bought me a few books as a Christmas present. One of them – Battle of the Little Big Horn is part of Series 707 (Cowboys and Indians) a series of just four books which had completely passed me by until then.
Now if you consider my knowledge of English history to be patchy then my knowledge of American history like this is off the scale! I couldn't have given you any dates or places of events at all until I read this book, and even now there's still a huge amount that I don't know.
The Battle of Little Big Horn (Big Horn being the name of the mountain range in Wyoming which in turn gives its name to the Big Horn River and the Little Horn River which runs from Wyoming down into Montana where it reaches the Big Horn) took place between the soldier of the United States and the American Indians (which I am sure is not the politically correct term to use in 2014) in 1876. Custer was the Lieutenant Colonel leading the Americans to this battle.
After setting the scene the book provides a very detailed account of the battle from all the build up, through the effect on the Indian families, to the Americans' defeat and the what the result meant for the Indians' way of life. It is a completely fascinating read.
The other part of the book that makes interesting reading is the forward inside the front cover. It starts as such:
In attempting an unbiased and factual account of this controversial battl, I am conscious that much relevant material has had to be omitted due to lack of space.
The story has been constructed on the known facts. Where the action is based on probability or conjecture it is so stated.
It then goes on to explain how a degree of artistic licence has been used in the illustrations, especially when taking account of the actual distances over which the battle took place.Whilst I can see exactly what this sort of statement might be useful in a formal history book it seems a bit surprising in a children's book, but I guess it just shows how authoritative Ladybird books were seen to be at the time.
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!