Books

Ladybird's all grown up: the hilarious spoof guides for hipsters, hangovers and dating

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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The books that introduced children to all things about life before the days of the internet, are about to get a darker, wittier and more grown-up makeover. 

The nostalgic Ladybird books are to take on topics such as hangovers, hipsters and mid-life crisis to celebrate its centenary anniversary. 

From The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness to The Ladybird Book of Dating, the series contains eight official spoof books which feature original Ladybird artwork alongside new text by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, the writers of the BBC comedy show Miranda.

The pair pitched the idea of the darkly funny books - which release on 19 November at £6.99 - to Ladybird's owner, Penguin, saying the retro hardbacks “felt special” and that it would be funny to “write as if we were time travellers from the 1960s looking at stuff such as online dating and night clubs”. 

Hazeley gave us a sneak peek of The Ladybird Book Of The Hipster this morning which reads: “He likes art, porridge, scarves and anything reclaimed from French factories”.

Another book in the series, The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis begins with: “When we’re young we wonder if we’ll be a surgeon or an astronaut. We can be anything we want to be. Then one day we can’t.”

“That bit makes me cry,” Morris said. “It’s too close to the bone.” 

Despite Penguin’s vast archive of Ladybird illustrations, it wasn't easy for the pair to find pictures that depicted first dates and binge drinking. In the classic books, “mum is at home with the kids and dad is at work fixing a Lancaster bomber”, said Morris.

“It’s hard to find images that have men and women in the same picture. Luckily, that’s become part of the joke.” 

We take a look at the best old image and new title combinations below. 

The Ladybird Book of The Hangover
The wife
Mindfulness
Mid-life crisis
The husband

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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