Disclaimer: I had planned to do this entry on Terry Prachett but then I realized he doesn’t fit the criteria I set out (i.e he is well known all over the world) so that blog will be for another time. Plus, I want to do more research on it before I publish it.
So instead I am going to talk about these guys
And their creator, Roger Hargreaves.
If you were a child in Britain in the 80’s I guarantee you had read most of this man’s books. The Mr Men series have been delighting children and adults for the last 30 years and very rightly so. There are (at last count) 46 Mr Men books and a further 33 of the sister series Little Miss. All of which were written and drawn by the man himself. That’s just the books mind, there have been numerous tv shows and adverts all based on the whimsical charm of these characters.
Simply put, The Mr Men series is all about stereotypes having adventures. You have Mr Happy, taking a sad boy on a visit to Happy Town, Mr Tickle spending the day tickling everyone, Mr Bump injuring himself repeatedly and Mr Impossible doing stuff that is… well impossible.
You get the idea.
But the charm in these books lays in the fact that they are simple, stories with a happy ending and not a touch of malice in sight. Each illustration is done in felt tip (i think you Americans call them Sharpies?) and you can see the pen marks clearly on the page, it’s almost like a small boy wrote them, which is by no means a bad thing. They are, in this writers humble opinion the perfect books to start small children reading.
Hargreaves had great success with this series, but not so much with his others, Timbuctoo for example did not do so well, nor did his other efforts. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be remembered as a man who bought so much joy to generations of small children.
So if you have small children and can find the books (which shouldn’t be to hard) I urge you to buy them and share some simple, uncomplicated, whimsy with them.
Something we could all use some more of in our lives I think….