Ladybird Leaders

I have a collection of these beautiful red and white Ladybird books which ranges from 'apes and monkeys' to 'man in the air'. They were written in the early 1970s, are all beautifully illustrated and have a clarity of expression that manages to be both serious/profound and gentle at the same time.
They were a joy to read to our children as well.

Somehow they imbue the material world with the mystery it still holds..
There is also a sense of wonder that I remember from learning to read,  and the keen sense that each new word learnt was a new territory of understanding. I remember learning about an amoeba and being so thrilled it existed. I also remember believing every fact I read, and taking them in, almost like sweets.

'Look around you.
'Look at all the living things that you can see every day.
Remember that all animals and plants are living.
Try to find out more about them.'

From Living Things.

Anyway, I found this draft from ages ago, back in 2007 when I was starting to write, which was inspired by this series.

It's called Living Things

You are alive. You know that
because you move and feed
and breathe and grow.

The limpet and dandelion are alive.
They breathe and grow.
But can you see them move?

Plants do move.
They move their leaves
so they are in the light.

Metals have never been alive.
Most rocks are never alive
But they moved into the light.

You may not think
You are very much like a goldfish or a horse
and you don't eat the same food as a sparrow.

But you all breathe and feed
You will all follow
Your parents into the light.

Some things were once alive.
A chair is made of wood,
the wood was part of a living tree.

Some people were once alive.
A man is made from cells.
The cells were part of another man.

There are millions of kids
of living things on earth.
You will never be able to see them all.


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