What to Look For in Winter is one from my childhood collection, it even has my name written in the front. It was not one of my favourites as a child and to be honest I think this was mostly because I didn't like the front cover. I look at it now and I can't quite see what the problem was. But, I think it looked to me like those Christmas cards you got from old people that showed winter scenes and sometimes a robin perched in the foreground. I just thought it looked boring.
What to Look For in Winter is written by E. L Grant Watson and illustrated by C F Tunnicliffe, R.A. published in 1959, it is part of Ladybirds' Series 536, which looks to be their natural history series.
"Many people seem to think that there is nothing to see in the countryside during the cold, wet winter months, but this book is designed to show how very many things there are to interest you if you know what to look - for and where to look."
The book itself is quite dense text, I don't remember reading it as a child, and I'm not sure I would have read it for very long. Maybe as an older child. Reading it now, it's incredibly informative and really quite poetic. The flora and fauna of English countryside is part of a wider story of rural life in this book. The writing reminds me of the voice-over script from a BBC natural history documentary.
As well as the detailed and highly descriptive commentary on the British countryside in the winter months, there are equally well observed illustration. The pictures are beautifully evocative. I particularly like the riverside scenes and as I live beside lakes here in rural Hertfordshire, I can vouch for their accuracy. As with all these Ladybird books there is, in looking at the pictures now, a nostalgia for times past. The fox hunt in the picture below for example. Not because I wish for a return to fox hunting, according to the text the fox looks set to elude these hounds, but the woodsman felling trees with their axes and the huntsmen and hounds are not sights I ever see.
This post is part of the Ladybird Tuesday started by Being Mrs C. Her post this weeks post is on the Ladybird book The Public Services - Electricity
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my posts here .