The thrill of the chase is one of the things I love about collecting Ladybird books. A trip to my local Oxfam bookshop last week to try to buy something else entirely resulted in me coming home with this Ladybird gem last week. It’s a couple of years since I last featured a book from The Words for Numbers series (series 661) and it’s not a series that I often find in charity shops, but this was sat on the shelf for just 99p, despite being in excellent condition, and there was no way I was leaving without it.
Understanding Numbers is Book 1 of the Words for Numbers series and whilst I remember being a tad confused with More Words for Numbers when I featured that, this book is somewhat more straightforward.
The book starts by introducing the numbers 1 to 12 and talking about the featured illustrations in terms of what things in the picture feature that many times as well as looking at how the numbers add together, so for example a dog may have four legs, but two children, each with two legs, means that there are four legs in total.
One thing I find quite interesting is that on all these first pages most of the numbers are written out in full, rather than written in numerical form, but I think that was the way things were done back in the 1960s when this book was published. I certainly real my very old fashioned primary school English teacher telling me that if a number was featured in a sentence then you had to write it out in full. I’m sure it made the learning of numbers a bit harder for children tough from a maths perspective.
After the numbers themselves Understanding Numbers goes on to teach many of the other words that become part of maths education – things like big and small, long and short, all and some, and first and last. The concepts of money and time are also covered in very general terms.
As with so many Ladybird books this is an excellent educational book for parents to use at home with their children. But, in addition to that it is also beautifully illustrated in a way that I appreciate so much more after seeing the Ladybird by Design exhibition. The pictures have such a gorgeous vintage style to them that I can easily imagine them all enlarged and framed in a hip London bar or similar. In fact, if no one has yet opened a Ladybird themed vintage bar or tea room then they definitely should!
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 Ladybird Tuesday posts to date – organised by series. It satisfies my inner geek and hopefully will also be of interest to others too!