When I was a little person in the nineties, my mum had me reading by the age of two and a half. While my nursery classmates were reading simple books (‘This is red’ … ’The hat is red’) I was choosing my own literary conquests. I loved Postman Pat, Meg and Mog, Maisie the Mouse and Spot the Dog.
When I got better at reading, mum introduced me to the wonders of the Mister Men and Little Miss books. I had all of them and would spend hours putting them in the correct order on my shelf. The stories were simple but had a point which emphasised the trait of the Mister Man or Little Miss and I think that in a way, they can be very educational to a child. After reading this, it will come as no surprise to you when I tell you that I started buying these delightful little books for my son before he was even born. He may be small but I wanted to start him young in the hope that he will be as keen a reader as I am.
Author Roger Hargreaves (1935-1988) wrote a number of children’s stories during his lifetime, including Timbuctoo, Walter Worm, Hippo Potto and Mouse, and Roundy and Squarey. Mr Men however were the most popular, with the first six stories that launched in 1971 selling over one million copies in the first three years. After Roger’s death, his son Adam continued to write the stories until this day, although his wife Christine sold the rights to the characters for £28 million to entertainment group Chorion. The fact that the Mister Men and Little Miss stories have remained popular and have continued for over forty years speaks volumes about the quality of the stories and the strength of the characters.
The Mister Men stories originated when little Adam Hargreaves, aged six, asked daddy ‘What does Tickle look like?’ Roger drew a round orange character with long rubbery arms, who we now know from his stories as Mr Tickle, and the idea was born.
A New Angle For Classic Characters
Now, new Mister Men and Little Miss are being released which are very different: the Mister Men Magical and Little Miss Magical collections. Sure, you can still pick up the traditional ‘Mr Strong’ or ‘Little Miss Chatterbox’, but Roger Hargreaves’ newer titles have changed things altogether, keeping the same characters but bringing them into traditional stories that so many parents no longer read to their children.
Three Little Misses and the Big Bad Wolf is the latest title in the Little Miss Magical collection which consists of several Little Miss characters overcoming something together. In this story, the hungry wolf bites off more than he can chew when he picks a fight with Little Miss Naughty, Little Miss Trouble, and Little Miss Bad. Written with a similar storyline to that of the classic Three Little Pigs, this story puts a spin on that, giving ‘good’ the upper hand, as a typical story book always should. Personally, I think these new stories definitely have their place and will be looking further into these newer collections to find new titles for our bedtime reading sessions!
Three Little Misses and the Big Bad Wolf by Roger Hargreaves will be released on 28th February 2013.Google+