Janet and John

What were the first books you ever learnt to read?

Janet and John books may jog the memory on what you first read, it did in the Spring Chicken Community!

Comments poured in with fond memories of learning to read these books at school and listening to a parody of them on the radio.

One Spring Chicken remembers…

Loved Janet and John when I was at school. Found Terry Wogan’s interpretation hilarious especially when he got the giggles. Bless you, Terry still missed so very much.

“Read them at West Wycombe Primary school in the 1950s. No TV at home and a phone was in a red booth down the road in those days, how technology has advanced!”

Ahh Janet and John. They started me on the mystic road of books. They opened up a world of imagination and escapism that I still relish, I cannot in my wildest dreams envisage a life without books.”

Once Upon a Time

The Janet and John books became hugely popular in teaching children to read in the 50’s and 60’s, the “look-and-say” style of writing made it easier to learn and kept it entertaining.

The topic of learning to read proved many entertaining stories of experiences at school.

One Spring Chicken remembers…

“My Mom taught me to read with the help of these books when I was around three and a half so that would be 1949 going into 1950 I can remember wishing I was Janet.”

I’m 63 and I can remember reading these, I use to enjoy them. I also read books about a dog called Tip obviously I enjoyed those to as I can remember them.

“Nothing like a Janet and John book! I have a school photo of me pointing to the pictures, oh and with a lovely vase of chrysanthemums on the side, lol.”

Learning to read is still a pivotal part of growing up and although Janet and John had a revival in the 2000s, the hardcover books are now considered nostalgic gifts. They will however live fondly in our memories, I’ll leave the last word with this comment:

“I was a late starter with the reading and those books were indispensable. Read a lot now. As for Terry Wogan’s contribution, I don’t think I have laughed quite so much since. Husband wants to know if they were recorded.”

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7 Comments

  • I actually learned to read in the early 1950s with books about two little Scottie dogs called Mac and Tosh. The covers were in tartan and one dog was black and one was white and they had delightful adventures, I seem to recall. Very ahead of their time in political correctness. Good old LCC. It did so much for inner London schools in the 50s.

  • Janet and John – fond memories? No way! I loathed them as a child and absolutely refused to have anything to do with them, let alone learn to read. It was only when my aunt bought me a book about farmyard animals that I decided reading was for me – and learned in 2 days. Much to the exasperation of my teacher.

  • These were my first reading books at primary school and I loved them . Brings back many happy memories of my primary school years and all my old school friends at Moray House Demonstration Primary and Secondary School and Teacher Training College back from 1955 – 1962

  • Yes do remember these pre school with my mam ,those were the days when most kids could read by about 5 cos we learnt with our mams. Must admit I loved the Great Wogan’s interpretations hilarious

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