When a customer requested a “Mr. Happy” by Roger Hargreaves book a few months ago for his child, I was delighted. I had forgotten about these small, square, retro books I grew up on when I was younger. This memory in turn brought me to purchase the series for the store- we had to have these! What a delight it has been to have parents smile and laugh with nostalgia while reading these books in the corner to their little ones in our children’s section. I love it. Another perfect example of the magic bookstores can bring to families.
There is an overwhelmingly vast selection of children’s book out there to choose from- quite a daunting task! I continue to try my best at picking unique, engaging and magical books for your children that hopefully will provide them with cherished memories of reading time with mom and dad. I still have a trunk in my mother’s basement of a select few books (ok more than a few) that she read to me (over and over and over at my insistence- oh how wonderful you mothers and fathers are!) and that I hope to read to my children one day.
I always welcome suggestions from parents about great children books that they love and their children love and will continue to stock our shelves with your requests- nothing makes me happier! I have acquired some real gems for our collection- so thank you to all who have engaged me in suggestion and conversation! Keep it up!
So come check out our “Mr. Men and Little Miss” books out, and if you have any other suggestions for our children’s corner- I’d love to hear it. Meanwhile here is a little information for your brain on one of my favorite children’s authors.
Charles Roger Hargreaves (9 May 1935 – 11 September 1988) was an English author and illustrator of children’s books, notably the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, intended for very young readers (hey I still read them!). He is Britain’s third best-selling author, having sold more than 100 million books.
As an adult, he spent a year working in his father’s laundry and dry-cleaning business before starting out in advertising. But his original ambition was to be a cartoonist; and, in 1971, while he was working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle, when his son,Adam, asked his father what a tickle looked like! Hargreaves drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms, which became Mr. Tickle. He initially had difficulty finding a publisher; but, once he did, the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years and spawning a BBC animated television series, narrated and voiced by Arthur Lowe.
By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981, the Little Miss series of books began to appear. It, too, was made into a television series in 1983, which was narrated by John Alderton, who, with Pauline Collins, voiced the Men and Misses, respectively. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children’s stories, including the Timbuctoo series of twenty-five books, John Mouse, and the Roundy and Squary books, he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men books and 33 Little Miss books.
Each book in the original Mr. Men and Little Miss series introduced a different title character and his/her single dominant personality to convey a simple moral lesson. The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters frequently reappeared in other characters books. The books’ simple stories, with brightly-colored, boldly-drawn illustrations, made them very popular, with sales of over 100 million worldwide across 28 countries.
The stories are set in a fictional universe called “Misterland”, which is inhabited by the Mr. Men and Little Misses themselves, as well as some ordinary human characters. Misterland is connected to the real world, as referenced in the story Mr. Fussy: “‘I’m your cousin,’ replied Mr. Clumsy. Your long lost cousin from Australia.’”
Now, isn’t that delightfully silly?