Although many people are aware of the classic Ladybird Book on Christmas Customs(Series 644), far fewer know of the existence of another Ladybird Book(Series 8818) that appeared in 1988. This book originally cost 99 pence and was written by Dennis Miller and illustrated by Helen Drabble. Ladybird no longer had books with pages of text and accompanying illustrations facing them; now text and images appeared on every page. The illustrations are all in colour, obviously much smaller than in the past and occasionally include photographs or reproductions of former engravings and illustrations, usually from Victorian times. The text covers the same territory as its predecessor but is written in a more contemporary style which is not surprising. It includes references to Saturnalia (strangely not named but only described in its predecessor)and information about Christmas around the world which never received a mention at all in the 1964 book. This is definitely a book for the Ladybird enthusiast but it is sufficiently different from its predecessor of 24 years earlier that they could almost be different books; the style and script, if not the basic substance, appears to be a generation or two apart rather than less than a quarter of a century.
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