in thing

An unrivalled popular culture index of British social characteristics? An under-fives' guide to unfortunate single neurosis personal fixations? The emblematic characters from a "read with mother" edition of Pilgrim's Progress? Actually, the Mr Men series is almost certainly none of the above, but Roger Hargreave's most celebrated creation has undoubtedly found a permanent home in the hearts and minds of an entire generation since its creation in the early 1970s.

The various Mr Men (and, later, Little Misses) quickly found their way into the pantheon of classic children's literature and, like many kids' favourites of the Seventies, have been periodically "re-discovered". Mr Happy was obviously ripe for ironic adoption by the late Eighties acid house movement, as, of course, was The Magic Roundabout.

More recently though, the parents who learnt their ABCs with the Mr Men are looking to the children's classics with which they were raised to get their own kids reading.

The Dr Seuss books are making a well-publicised comeback and so too are the timeless Mr Men, living on well after the death of their creator, 10 years ago this year.

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