Since the publication of the first Mr. Men title, Mr. Tickle, in 1971 over 100 million Mr. Men and Little Miss books have sold in 22 countries with over 2 million copies selling each year. There are 46 Classic Mr. Men and 33 classic Little Miss stories to collect as well as many exciting new titles, including a range of storybooks featuring Mr. Men and Little Misses with fairytale characters. In 2008, the Mr. Men TV show was launched by Cartoon Network.
The first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle, was created by Roger Hargreaves in 1971 after his son, Adam, asked what a tickle looked like. In response, Roger drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms and Mr. Tickle was born.
Roger Hargreaves then went on to create 42 other Mr. Men characters, each with a dominant trait. The books’ silly stories with a simple moral lesson and brightly-coloured, boldly-drawn illustrations, became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years and spawning a BBC animated TV series, narrated and voiced by Arthur Lowe.
In 1981, the Little Miss series of books began with Little Miss Bossy. Roger Hargreaves wrote 30 Little Miss stories including Little Miss Twins about his daughters, Sophie and Amelia. They were also made into a television series in 1983, which was narrated by John Alderton and Pauline Collins.
When Roger died suddenly in 1988, Adam Hargreaves took over as the author and illustrator of his father’s popular Mr. Men series. His titles include Mr. Birthday and Little Miss Birthday, which were published in 2006 to celebrate 35 years of the Mr. Men, and a very successful range of sparkly Mr. Men titles which feature the Mr. Men and Little Misses with favourite fairytale characters. He also created three new classic Mr. Men and Little Miss characters and wrote and illustrated Mr. Cheeky, which was created by 8 year old Gemma Almond in response to a competition to submit your own Mr. Men character. This limited edition book is sold in WHSmith, with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity for children’s leukemia.