Minor British Institutions: The Mr Men
Saturday 21 February 2009
Before the Mr Men (and then Little Misses) came along, children’s literature and illustration was a rather fussy affair. The refreshing simplicity of Roger Hargreaves’ cartoons with their bold colours and typeface was only matched by the charm and intricacy of the tales, and, when they came to TV, the brilliance of Arthur Lowe’s narration.
In 1971 the first volume, Mr Tickle, was published, the character apparently inspired by Hargreaves’ young son Adam, who asked daddy what a tickle looked like. Aaaah! The Mr Men were often intellectually challenging, even Mr Scatterbrain, Mr Nonsense and Mr Silly. Mr Worry, for example, worries about everything.
He worries about his roof leaking when it rains, and also about his plants when it doesn’t rain. So a wizard makes him write down all his worries and solves them. But, after a week, Mr Worry goes back to worrying, because he has nothing to worry about.
Hargreaves, who died in 1988, was obviously possessed of an unusual blend of creativities. Little Mr Adam ended up succeeding him, and the rights were sold to Chorion Group in 2004 for £28m, the deal presumably having been negotiated by Mr Clever and Little Miss Brainy
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final days of mother-of-two's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...