Events Archive






We all have or have had Ladybird Books at home, either to read to our children, or if we are younger, to have been read to. Now we know that the daughter of the mover and shaker of the Ladybird Book Publishing Company, has been living on our doorstep all the time!

Caroline Alexander gave a most informative talk to the Historical Society on her father Douglas Keen, Editorial Director of Ladybird Books during its most innovative and prolific years during the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

Douglas Keen joined the company in 1936, working his way up the ladder until the war came in 1939. After war service, he came back to the company which was now publishing children's story books in the colour and size format we all know. But Douglas keen saw a potential Market for educational books in a children friendly format and accurate enough to make them acceptable to teachers.He employed experts in their fields to write the texts and good accurate artists for the illustrations.

The first educational book was on British Birds, followed by British Flora, then History Books, Biographies, Astronomy and understanding Maths and an " How it Works" series.

The books all sold at 2/6p, a price held for thirty years…an astonishing record. Sales of course soared, eventually reaching 120 million copies worldwide.

Douglas Keen died in 2008 aged 95 years.

Shoreham And District
Historical Society
Affiliated to
The Shoreham Society
The Kent History Federation and
The Kent Archaeological Society

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July 13, 2014

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Shoreham And District Historical Society