Roger Hargreaves (Mr Men)

Best known as the creator and illustrator of The Mr Men & Little Miss books, The English children’s author and illustrator, Roger Hargreaves, was born 9th May 1935 in a private hospital at 201 Bath Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire to Alfred Reginald and Ethel Mary Hargreaves. He grew up at 703 Halifax Road, Hartshead Moor, Cleckheaton, outside of which there now is a commemorative plaque. He attended Sowerby Bridge Grammar School (now Sowerby Bridge High School). He then spent a year working in his father’s laundry and dry-cleaning business before gaining employment in advertising.

Hargreaves always wanted to be a cartoonist, and in 1971, while working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle. Initially he had difficulty finding a publisher, but once he did the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years. In 1974 the books spawned a BBC animated television series, narrated by Arthur Lowe. A second series the following year saw newer titles transmitted in double bill format with those from the first series. By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981 the Little Miss series of books was launched, and in 1983 it also was made into a television series, narrated by Pauline Collins, and her husband John Alderton. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children’s stories—including the Timbuctoo series of 25 books, John Mouse and the Roundy and Squarey books—he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men and 33 Little Miss books. The books were intended for very young readers, and featured simple and humorous stories, always with a moral at the end. and featured brightly-coloured, boldly drawn characters and illustrations,

Hargreaves sadly passed away in 1988, however his Mr Men and Little Miss series of books which have been part of popular culture since 1971, remain popular and have sold in excess of 85 million copies worldwide and have been translated into at least 20 languages and also won an award for The Best Books of the Year in 1983.

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