I do worry that my final choice for my Book Monsters Advent 2017 day 24, is a little unorthodox maybe, but bare with me. On this blog, and other children’s blogs I read, we focus (and quite rightly) on the new and future releases in children’s books, but for my final advent, I wanted to go a little retro, to something I loved as a child. Because, my blog is all about honesty and sharing books that I really believe children will enjoy. So, bare with me, while I have a bit of self indulgence, celebrating the wonderful Mr Men by Roger Hargreaves and published by Egmont.
There has recently, in readiness for Christmas I imagine,been some books released based on the Mr Men series, specifically for adults including Surviving Motherhood, Online Dating, etc. I haven’t read them, so I’ve no idea what they’re like, but they are clearly aimed at my generation, and why? Because we grew up with the originals of these amazing books and love them.
We give a lot of blog space to the brilliant new books arriving daily from talented authors and illustrators, and don’t get me wrong, that’s absolutely how it should be, but sometimes I also really want to celebrate the classics which our grandparents, parents, or indeed ourselves, grew up with. Those memories and that nostalgia is a very powerful thing, and only quality children’s books generally evoke that.
I had many favourites as a child, being always surrounded by books. But the Mr Men stories were a bit favourite of mine. You can still buy the Mr Men books individually, or in a complete set like this one, which is in a lovely carry case for ease of storage, and I urge you to introduce your children to these little gems. 47 timeless stories about a whole array of funny, oddball characters, most of which we can very much identify with. Most children will recognise themselves, or someone they know, in one of these books.
Each of these little tiny books contains a perfect bedtime story. Just the right length to read at night, juicy enough of a story, but not too long to allow for boredom. Beautifully narrated, these books have a real style to them, so easy to read out loud and for children to follow and with a gorgeously quaint sense of humour. The bright clear characters all have their own slightly bonkers personality, but there is consistency among the range which give children a sense of familiarity. The pictures are bright and not overly fussy, all aiding children’s comprehension of the tales.
Many of them have little morals, such as Mr Uppity learning how to say please and thank you, and Mr Snow learning how to be helpful (In fact, I so wish I’d thought of reading Mr Snow to my story time group at our recent Christmas storytime. They would have loved it!). These are the kinds of books that children (as I did) will read over and over again, and enjoy more each time. The set is large enough to allow parents a bit of variety in reading them too.
Roger Hargreaves was a classic, a most fabulous illustrator and writer, who managed to inject charm, humour and warmth into these simple little stories, and I believe we should cherish authors and illustrators with this talent, whether past or present. So, just remember these little old gems we loved, as we launch into a new year of wonderful books! And please do leave comments of your favourite childhood book. I’d love to hear what your favourites were, and maybe they’ll be featured on Book Monsters next year too!
Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting and supporting Book Monsters throughout 2017. I’m incredibly grateful to every single person who has helped in some way. Next year, more graphic novels, more non-fiction, and more great books!
Merry Christmas to all you lovely Book Worms!