Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ladybird Books; The Adventures of Wonk

Last Saturday was something of a 'red letter' day for me. I was wandering around the International Antique and Collectors Fair at the Bath and West Showground when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two 'Wonk' books. Now, as any Ladybird collector will tell you, these little books are very hard to find.  I hesitated about buying them because of the price but in the end, there was no way I could leave without them.

There are six books in the series with two stories in each book. The titles are as follows:

1 – Going to sea and The new fishing net
2 – Strawberries and cream and Adventures in the night 
3 – Fireworks and The diamond ring affair 
4 – The secret and The night watchman 
5 – The circus and Wonk flies high 
6 – The snowman and Kidnapped 
The two I found are Going to sea and Fireworks the first and third books in the series.

The books were written by Muriel Levy 'Auntie Muriel of Radio fame' as it states on the title pages and illustrated with vivid  colour pictures by Kiddell-Monroe. They were all published by Wills and Hepworth between 1941 and 1948.

Each story recounts the everyday adventures of Wonk, a loveable koala bear, and his best friend Peter.  Like most Koalas, Wonk, is often thinking about sleep, or is asleep. A perfect example of this can be seen in Going to sea, where Wonk wants to sleep and dream about food, but Peter wants to learn about ships and the sea, so that he can write about the Navy when he grows up.

In Fireworks, Wonk and Peter are trying to raise money for Guy Fawkes Night. Peter’s money-box is empty. His favourite uncle has joined the Fleet Air Arm, and his uncle Joseph doesn't like noise so won’t consider helping. Wonk thinks it would be a good idea to go Carol singing as he’s sure the neighbours would love to hear them sing. The first neighbour they visit offers to give them money but only if they promise to stop singing and go home!

The Adventures of Wonk - Fireworks and the Adventures of Wonk - Going to sea are now sold, thank you for your interest.

If you visit an antiques or book fair remember to keep on eye out for these little books, they are few and far between and well worth collecting.


  1. How cute and original! I love the name Wonk. A couple of great finds!

  2. I'm not aware of these books, but they sound charming. What a great find!

  3. I have never heard of them but will keep an eye out for you. I am your newest follower

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

    Twitter @smbslt

  4. barbaraannefisher29 November 2011 at 22:22

    Thank you! I'm heading over to your blog now and will also follow on Twitter.

  5. barbaraannefisher29 November 2011 at 22:30

    Thanks for calling in. I was delighted to find them.

  6. barbaraannefisher29 November 2011 at 22:30

    Wonk somehow suits this little bear. They are great finds. Thanks for calling in.

  7. I love learning about books I have never heard of! These are new books to me- but now I will remember to keep an eye out for them. How fun!


  8. barbaraannefisher1 December 2011 at 11:20

    Hi Jess, excellent! They are valuable little books and well worth collecting or selling on.

  9. The illustrations are just amazing, Barbara. Great for you to have found these precious books!

  10. barbaraannefisher3 December 2011 at 14:41

    I can't tell you how excited I was! Thanks for calling in.

  11. My favorite book when I was young was The Snowman and Kidnapped. I still have it, but tatty. I have got it out for my granddaughter for me to read to her. I remembered everything about it. I would like to get the others. Will enjoy them as much as I did when young!

  12. barbaraannefisher9 January 2012 at 18:54

    Just think, in a few years time they could be your granddaughter’s favourite books too. It’s lovely that you kept them.

  13. when I was a boy Wonk and the fireworks was my favorite bedtime story.. I have now managed to purchase a copy in pretty good condition

    1. I love finding books from my childhood and never get tired of looking at them. I hope you get just as much enjoyment from Wonk and the fireworks.


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Barbara xx