Dick and Dora, Nip and Fluff
My mother may or may not have taught me how to pray, but she did a great deal of other preparation prior to my going to school. There were no nursery schools or pre-school provision in those days, at least not where we lived. On the other hand, very few mothers went out to work. Consequently, my mother spent a lot of time with my sister and I, teaching us to read and write, reading stories to us, and cooking delicious food. As a result, when I started school I could read quite well, and write my name – with both hands. I remained ambidextrous for some time, until finally settling on a preference for my left hand for writing and most purposes, but well able later in life to learn how to do new things, such as playing the guitar, right-handedly.
The Happy Venture series of reading books were used widely in schools from the fifties until as late as 1970 in some areas. Once again, the life that these two children and their delightful pets enjoyed was very different to our own. I don’t even remember knowing anyone who had a pet dog or a cat in our street. The fields and woods where Dick and Dora played, and the seaside with blue sea and sky where they took their holidays, seemed very far from our experience.