When I was young, Ladybird history books were my entry to the past. From stories about Alfred the Great, to Oliver Cromwell, Nelson and Scott of the Antarctica, they were all formatted the same way: text on the left, fabulous painting illustrating the point on the right. I’ve still got a whole mass of them. They were, and remain utterly brilliant.

Fortunately, this formula has been reintroduced and I’ve been asked to write twelve new Ladybird books on the Second World War in collaboration with Keith Burns, a superb artist. The text is aimed at anyone aged from 9 to 99 and represents the latest academic thinking as well as reflecting my own extensive research on the subject. While I hope the text hits the spot, I know the artwork does. Keith is incredible and it’s always incredibly exciting when he sends through his batch of illustrations for each of the new books. Keith has a Facebook page where you can see more of his amazing work: facebook.com/keithburnsart