Doing a massive (and well overdue) spring clean of my house I came across a shirt I hadn’t seen for ages. It was plain white with a picture of Little Miss Bossy across the front and a bunch of signatures from former workmates.
Now, this was given to me as a joke – well half a joke – so it was a nice walk down memory lane to find it. But it also prompted me to look into who created the Mr Men collection, which was a favourite growing up. Even if the likes of Little Miss Brainy and Little Miss Curious should possibly be going by the more modern term of ‘Ms’ by now.
Anyway, in a name that came back to me as soon as I read it, the character creator was Roger Hargreaves and the idea for the series came to him one morning in 1971 when his son, Adam, then six, asked “What does a tickle look like?” It was a very good question and prompted Roger to draw a little orange man with a big toothy grin, a blue hat and extraordinarily long arms. Thus the first Mr Men was born.
From there Roger went on to populate his universe with everyone from Mr Nosy and Mr Grumpy to Little Miss Busy and Little Miss Curious. And in a nice turn of fate Adam has now grown up to be the writer and illustrator of the books he inspired so many decades ago.