Mini Hardback Format

facts

How did the mini hardback format come about?

In response to the wartime restrictions imposed on paper size and supply, two Ladybird Books board members, James Shields Clegg and Percy Roberts, devised a way of creating a 56-page hardback book with a dust jacket using only a single sheet of paper measuring 40 x 30 inches.

Once the text and art had been printed, the piece of paper could be cut into a book block of 7 x 4 5/8 inches (175 x 117 mm). This economical method of production meant that the books could be sold at the accessible price of 2/6d, a price that did not change for almost thirty years.