BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | This is Janet. This is John all over againSeller Rating:. Condition: Good. Owner's name on cover. Seller Inventory Q14A More information about this seller Contact this seller 1. Published by Summersdale Publishers
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Am I the only person who doesn't find that Ladybird's images of childhood suffuse me with a rosy glow? It isn't that I didn't have a happy childhood or that I didn't like the books. Tootles the Taxi was my all-time favourite, but even then I felt Ladybird presented a world of stifling conformity - vests, lace-up shoes, berets for girls, calling any female adult "Auntie". What we celebrate as a time of freedom - Ladybird children wandered the streets without parents worrying - was in other ways very restricting. Doing things right was what mattered and there was a very narrow consensus about "right", which was largely predicated on making sure children pleased adults - writing thank-you letters, helping daddy wash the car, walking the dog. These are all good and useful things but they aren't empowering or liberating. And although we go on about the pressure children are under today, it wasn't so very different in the past.
Author: Anne Else. Publication details: Auckland University Press , , Wellington. Conditions of use. Anne Else. I joined a class of over 40 Primer Ones, the advance guard of the baby boom. On my first day, I traced a camel into a drawing book made of brown paper, and learnt to sing:.
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Once upon a time, everybody learnt to read with Janet and John. This apparently middle-class nuclear family featured Father - slicked hair, grey slacks, blank expression - and Mother - surprising Hepburn-esque cropped hair and primary colour clothes. Then there was Janet - blonde hair in bunches, typically seen in a dress or a skirt - and John - curly reddish hair and always in shorts. It was easy to imagine Father managing a small-town branch of Barclays, while Mother churned out jam for the WI. Over the years they have been wickedly parodied by Terry Wogan and others, and provided the backdrop for more inclusive views of family structure, such as Jenny lives with Eric and Martin. Janet and John were not health and safety-obsessed Enlarge Image In , when the books were "updated" for the modern generation, the perceived social stereotyping was toned down and more [ie any] ethnic minority characters were added.