Mr Men Little Miss in Australia
Mr Men, 2021
32pp., hbk., RRP $A16.99
Mr Topsy-Turvy is very excited – the Mr Men and Little Miss are heading ‘up over’ . Little Miss Somersault is a little confused and then she realises he means Down Under.
There is much to discover when they arrive in Sydney and make their way around the coast to visit the iconic sites, sights and scenery – Little Miss Somersault is excited about a game of cricket, Mr Tall is keen to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Mr Silly thinks he might enter the Melbourne Cup -before they head inland to the centre.
It’s 40 years since little ones were first introduced to these bold characters created by Roger Hargreaves, wrapped in their distinctive packaging of a bold block-colour illustration on a white background in a book the perfect size for little hands. Even after his death in 1988, his son Adam continued what his father started and the characters are as popular now as they were all those years ago. So to have the whole crew come to Australia and go places and do things that will resonate with so many of our young readers is just perfect, setting them up to be fans and ensuring lots of reading ahead as all the previous titles remain available. With the characters being readily recognisable each time because of their consistent shape and colour,,their personalities reflected in their name and the antics they get up to told in a distinctive direct, unfussy narrative style,, even our youngest readers can develop and bring knowledge to new reads, so they will be pleased that Mr Wrong is still getting it wrong when he swims between the wrong flags and Mr Silly ends the story in a silly way.
As parents and grandparents, we must never underestimate the power of sharing stories like this with our littlies, particularly if they are those we ourselves enjoyed. The connections that that makes to the adult, the story and literature is general are multi-faceted. Loving the books our parents loved can set us up for life.