Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mr. Men and Little Miss – Royal Mail First Day Cover

The newest Royal Mail First Day Cover is dedicated to Mr. Men and Little Miss. Where did it all begin? One day, when Adam Hargreaves was about eight years old, he asked his father Roger, “What does a tickle look like?”

The unusual question his son had posed provoked an amused response initially but, being a creative man with a natural talent for drawing. Roger had a think and went on to visualise a tickle in the shape of a small orange man with incredibly long arms. Inspired by his creation, he drafted a short story all about him, developed some accompanying illustrations and mocked up his words and pictures into a little book, Mr. Tickle, which he sent to all the large UK publishers. While awaiting a reply, Roger kept busy working on several other little books, featuring characters such as Mr. Greedy and Mr. Nosey. Though rejected by the UK’s major publishers, Mr. Tickle would eventually find a home with Thurman Publishing Ltd and in August 1971 the first six Roger Hargreaves books – Mr. Tickle, Mr. Greedy, Mr. Happy, Mr. Nosey, Mr. Sneeze and Mr. Bump -  were published. They became so successful that after three years more than a million copies had been sold.
A decade after the first ‘Mr. Men’ books were published, Roger began writing the ‘Little Miss’ stories. In 1981, he introduced 13 new personalities to his readers, including Little Miss Bossy.
Sadly, in 1988 Roger Hargreaves died suddenly at the age of 53. Adam, who had inherited his father’s artistic talent, took over the family business and set about learning how to draw the Mr. Men and Little Misses. Although it took him quite a long time to feel that he was getting the characters right, in 2001 he illustrated and wrote the story of Mr. Cheeky, which was later followed by six titles in 2004, including Mr. Cool and Little Miss Bad.

The Mr. Men and Little Miss stories have been absorbing and entertaining children across the globe for 45 years and in 2016 these colourful, eclectic characters are as popular as ever. 

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