Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Tootles lives

On the Northern Line yesterday, a Mum reading to her toddler. The book was "Tootles the Taxi" which was a seriously old and much loved Ladybird book, patched up with silver duct tape and thumbed to sticky oblivion. I'm guessing it had once belonged to her, or the Dad, as the illustrations were very outdated for today's pre-school market.

The kid loved it and followed every word and picture intently, even though it reflected nothing of what he must know of the city above us. The illustrations showed near empty streets, the hero taxi still had the open side door for luggage, and all of the men pictured wore hats. ( There we go again Sue ! )

I remember once meeting the illustrator who had the job of updating the pictures for the "Topsy and Tim" books. And how, in some of the originals, the adults ( mainly their Uncle ) where shown smoking !!!

Anyway, very pleased with the Mum, but can now see the little boy's arm is way out of proportion, too much elbow. 

So it goes.


  1. You've caught the mum beautifully though - I love what you've done with her hair.

  2. Thought I'd commented but must be in cyberspace.

    Sounds like you were avidly reading over Mum's shoulder Keith :o)

    I think its wonderful that these old books are still in circulation. Living in 'quaint' Whitstable we have good old fashioned sweetie shops and bookshops selling Ladybird etc. They are very popular

  3. Books never loose their purpose. Am fascinated with how the books you had as a child follow you throughout your life. I have a very peculiar mental image that I will eternally associate with strawberry shortbread because of a simple printing mistake in a book I loved when I was very small. Odd that, isn't it ?

    And I have never eaten strawberry shortbread in the first place.