Thoroughly Modern Miffy!

One of the first things I bought my first baby was a selection of Miffy books, I remember reading them when I was little and there is something endearing about the illustrations. The simplicity of the stories and illustrations means that they can be followed by the smallest little people. I’ve bought loads of Miffy merchandise for my children over the years and to be honest lusted after much of it myself. In fact, I remember my little sister having a Miffy bag in the early 1980’s which I was insanely jealous of. Miffy quite simply cant be bettered.

I’ve some exciting news if your household loves Miffy quite as much as we do. Simon and Schuster children’s books have enlisted the help of award winning author and poet Tony Mitton to refresh the rhyming text in the classic books so it suits the ears of today’s little children. The previous version which I read as a child, didn’t scan perfectly and naturally and the language had become a bit dated.

As Tony Mitton is one of our favourite authors we were thrilled to go along to an event to meet him and to be given a selection of the new books including some lovely sticker and colouring books which are perfect for rainy days and party gifts

Rather fabulously, the first of the new books to come out are Miffy at the gallery and Miffy at the Zoo, these are our favourite books out of all of them. Miffy at the gallery looks at some famous modern art using Dick Bruna’s amazing style. We read the next text on the train on the way home and its perfect, a joy to read!

In the press pack I found a really interesting quote from Tony Mitton about how he tackled the challenge of re-writing Miffy.

“Throughout my career as a writer of poetry and verse for children, I’ve sought to combine the language of natural speech with precise rhymes, aural texture, good scansion and metre. So to tackle such internationally known works as the Miffy books – with a brief of staying as faithful as possible to the Dutch originals – struck me as a challenge well worth taking up. I was flattered and honoured to be asked.

I find great satisfaction in problem solving and plying my verse writing as a craft – in the same way a carpenter might approach making joinery for a bespoke space. I love working intricately with the sounds, rhythms, rhymes, textures and meanings of language in verse. Working on the Miffy books gave me the opportunity to do this. There were strictures, of course. The books have a look, a format and a feel already known and loved. And Dick himself was very exact in his own original writing, so I was not allowed free rein to do as I pleased. One is using one’s skills within set parameters. In that sense it is like working as a scriptwriter rather than as a solo poet.  My own children loved Dick Bruna’s books; I hope my new texts help today’s young children to enjoy them too.”  

My children had a fab time meeting Miffy, making hats, learning the Miffy dance and getting their books signed by Tony Mitton. It looks like there is plenty of life left in our Miffy obsession, I cant wait to read all the books again and i’m currently learning the Miffy dance myself. Here is the link should you want to join in:

Just to prove my children had a brilliant time, here are some pictures, try spotting the celebrities!

Ned really wants a big Miffy soft toy!

Listening to Miffy at the zoo

Miffy had to navigate some stairs to meet the children, I shouldn’t have been quite as amused as I was…

Tony Mitton gave a captivating speech. I’m always enthralled by authors!

If you’d like to get your hands on a new Miffy book (and I’m sure you will), they will be published on these dates and you’ll find them in your favourite booksellers:

New Miffy hardback storybooks (£4.99 each):
27th February: miffy, miffy at the zoo, miffy at the gallery
22nd May: miffy’s birthday, miffy’s garden, miffy and the new baby
11th September: miffy at school, miffy goes flying, miffy’s bicycle
9th October: miffy in the snow, miffy the fairy, miffy’s dream
New Miffy Activty Books, published 27 February:
Miffy’s Play Date paperback sticker storybook (£6.99),
Miffy Dress-up colouring and sticker book (£4.99) 
Miffy’s Day sticker, activity book (£4.99). 
The range continues in May, August and September with more colouring, sticker and wipe-clean activity books, and in October with gift formats for Christmas.


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