Win an entire set of Ladybird Read it Yourself books! That’s 50 books, worth over £200!

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 366

**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. It was won by no. 238, Rebecca Townsend**

With the Summer Holidays almost in sight I’ve started thinking about what role books will play in our summer fun. Every July I look out for great activity books (here are some we’ve enjoyed in the past), but with a young child who’s just getting the hang of reading for herself and is keen to read more, I’m also looking for an exceptional read-it-yourself series.

I’m not crazy about spending the summer doing “homework”, but I know it’s reassuring and helpful to have a set of graded readers to hand, and so I’ve been looking at the new Ladybird Read It Yourself set.


This set is comprised of 50 graded books, a mixture of classic fairytale retellings, old favourites such as Topsy and Tim, and a sprinkling of TV characters such as Peppa Pig and Harry and his Bucket full of Dinosaurs. This seems like a good mix to me – old and new, classic and modern.

The 50 books are distributed over 4 broad levels, with Level 1 described as “for children who are ready to take their first steps in reading,” whilst Level 4 consists of “longer stories for more independent, fluent readers.”

I’m not sure that they’ve got the descriptions quite right; if you take a look at the sample pages below I’d say that Level 1 isn’t absolute entry level but probably what many kids could do by the 2nd half of year 1 at a UK school (in my experience).

Level 1 - Goldilocks and the three bears
Level 1 – Goldilocks and the three bears
 Level 2 - The Gingerbread Man
Level 2 – The Gingerbread Man
Level 4 - The Wizard of Oz
Level 4 – The Wizard of Oz

But it’s simple to check the right level for your kids – there’s more information available about the banding and helping your child learn to read at

It’s hugely important to me that my girls associate reading with pleasure, enjoyment and fun, and not just practise for school. To this end here are some ideas for play alongside Series 1 of these lovely Ladybird Read it Yourself books:

  • CinderellaMake a pipe cleaner tiara for Cinderella to wear at the ball.
  • Fairy FriendsMake a simple fairy house, using this tutorial from Nurture Store.
  • Goldilocks and the Three BearsCreate a simple Goldilocks playset out of a paper bag.
  • Little Red Hen – Bake some bread using a ready mix which just needs water. Maybe you could shape the dough into different animals like this!
  • Peppa Pig: Little Creatures – Go on a bug hunt down your street/in your garden. Alternatively, try these bug party ideas.
  • Peppa Pig: Recycling Fun – Try junk modelling – here‘s how we do it.
  • Rex the Big DinosaurHere are 10 dino activities from Happy Whimsical Hearts.
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes – Make a paper chain of emperors and design lots of different clothes for him to wear. Aunt Annie has some tips here.
  • The Enormous Turnip – Carve a turnip! Although it’s now more common to carve pumpkins at Halloween, Turnips used to be popular
  • The Magic Porridge PotUse this recipe (more commonly known as elephant toothpaste!) to create an overflowing pot.
  • >The Princess and the Pea – Make a princess and the pea play using this tutorial from Small World Land.
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Sow some radishes with the kids. These grow very fast (about 6 weeks to harvest) and can be sown in a tray on the windowsill.
  • The Three Billy Goats GruffMake a set of goats out of toilet rolls.
  • The Ugly Duckling – Find some ducks, geese and swans to feed! A simple childhood activity which is always so satisfying.
  • Tinga Tinga Tales: Why Giraffe Has a Long NeckCreate a giraffe handprint, using this idea from Activity Village.
  • Topsy and Tim Go to the ZooMake play doh cages for your plastic animals, using this idea from Timeless Adventures.

  • If screens are what get your kids excited, the entire set of Read It Yourself books are also available as eBooks, and from the 18th of July you’ll be able to access them via a special app.

    Now to the really exciting news!

    I have one complete set of Ladybird Read it Yourself books to give away to a lucky reader. That’s FIFTY books, worth a total of more than £200!

    They’d be great for a family with young siblings at different reading levels, or brilliant in a school classroom (though teachers might want to look at Promethean Planet, which offers all the Read it yourself fairytales as fully customisable, ready-made lessons which can be downloaded for instant use.)

    Here are the details of the giveaway:

  • The giveaway is open worldwide.
  • To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post.
  • For extra entries you can:

    (1) Tweet about this giveaway, using this text:
    Win 50 Read-It-Yourself books by @ladybirdbooks worth over £200 over at @playbythebook’s blog #worldwide #giveaway

    (2) Share this giveaway on your Facebook page or blog

    You must leave a separate comment for each entry for them to count.

  • The winner will be chosen at random using
  • The giveaway is open for one week, and closes on July 11 2013 6am UK time. I will contact the winner via email the same day. If I do not hear back from the winner within one week of emailing them, I will re-draw a winner.

  • Good luck!

    My thanks go to the publishers, Ladybird Books, for donating the set of books for this giveaway.

    **THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. It was won by no. 238, Rebecca Townsend**


    366 Responses

    1. Becky John

      Shared on Facebook – Becky John

    2. lyn burgess

      What a great prize. I would love to win them for my granddaughter, Sitting together with her cuddling up to me reading is such an amazing feeling, and winning these books would give the perfect excuse for even more, even though no excuse is needed.

    3. I read a lot of these with my parents when I was younger, and would love to be able to do the same with my little ones, and they are timeless classics.
      Shared on FB and Twitter (@annaojbee) too.

    4. Amy Woodhouse

      Wow – what a lovely giveaway. My 2 girls would love these books – and at just the right time for 3 year ol 🙂

    5. Have re-tweeted – @SoniaG2519

      Thanks again for the fantastic competition.

    6. bubblybee

      i love the variety of books in this pack. Lovely gift!

    7. Barrie Phillips

      I’d love to win these for my daughter.

    8. Vicky-Louise Robinson

      This looks absolutely fantastic. My mum taught me to read with Ladybird books & I would love to do the same & read them with my kids. I have children of several different ages so this would be absolutely ideal & fabulous to read with them – especially over the Summer holidays while they might be struggling to find things to do. We would never be short of a bedtime story either with such a huge pack!

    9. Vicky-Louise Robinson

      I have tweeted as @Vickypinkxx

    10. Vicky-Louise Robinson

      I have shared on Facebook & Google+ as Vicky-Louise Robinson / Vicky Robinson

    11. Count Me In! I’d Love These Books For Me Lil 1’s! 🙂

    12. These look fantastic. Reading is a favourite hobby in our house.

    13. I’ve shared on facebook – Jo Harrison

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