Dating old books
Pictorial Endpapers If the endapers are pictorial (have a drawing, rather than pattern) and have no colouring to them then your book is most likely from 1953 or earlier.Some post-1953 Ladybird books did have pictorial endpapers but these were printed in colour ink.This list shows the other books that are to be found within that particular series.If your books' title appears last on the list, or not at all, then this is strong indication that it could be a first edition.
An example of this exception is demonstrated with the image opposite - the title of this book is - note that this title does not appear in the list and therefore could be presumed to be a first edition - BUT it's not!If your 401 title is one of the first 18 titles / first 10 of series 497, and it doesn't have a small picture pasted to the front board, then you don't have a first edition.IDENTIFYING FIRST EDITIONS FROM SERIES 401 and 497 (Animal Stories) A good way to identifying a first edition Ladybird book from series 401 or 497 is to check that it matches the following issue points: 413, 455, 474 and series 538 were published with full picture boards that were gloss-coated - the illustrations on the front boards were identical to the dust-wrapper that protected them.All Ladybird books prior to 1965 were published with dust-wrappers, most of which had the price of 2'6 Net printed on the inside front flap.On some of the first editions from the series of the 1940s there was no mention of price. Most Ladybird books with dust-wrappers have a list of other books on the back inside flap.
Search for dating old books:
Later in the 1980s Ladybird started producing glossy pictorial boards for their books. A word before starting - it can be a tricky process determining whether a Ladybird book is indeed a first edition.