At the same time I first became entranced by stories like 'The Golden Ball' I was also avidly following the adventures of Princess Marigold and her family (children Prince Rupert and Princess Rose, husband Prince Strongbow and father-in-law good King Florian, not to mention numerous courtiers) as the tranquility of their kingdom was continually disrupted by the mischief making and evil machinations of wicked Wizard Weezle:
These stories first appeared (in serial form) in a weekly children's magazine called Treasure. I no longer have copies of the originals, but many years later the stories were re-published in a popular womens' magazine in South Africa called 'You'.
Despite his best (or worst) efforts Wizard Weezle never did get the better of the good people of King Florian's kingdom, but that never stopped him from trying.
Go to this link to see more images from Ladybird Books.
The series of little Ladybird Books available in the 1960's was like a feast in miniature. The bright colours and chocolate box art had a visual impact that was hard to resist. The presentation was pitch perfect. There was something extremely appealing about the size of the books, with an exquisitely detailed painting revealed on the turn of each page. As a typical little girl I loved the princesses the most - Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. And what princesses they were! - Cinderella had three sumptuous gowns not one - and that was before the obligatory grand wedding.
These little books appear to have lost none of their appeal over time. I've seen them change hands for impressive amounts on eBay where some of the bids are hotly contested.
The Ladybird website:
http://www.vintageladybird.com/ has a lovely archive of images for anyone like me who has fond memories of these books as a child. The prints can be found at http://www.ladybirdprints.com/ .
In the winter wonderland we have experienced recently its like living in a fairy tale of our own. Here are a couple of photos taken in my neighbourhood: