One of the most enduring memories of my childhood was dressing up as Mr Strong. It was for one of our school fetes where each year (this was the 1980’s) we dressed up and paraded around the school field for all the parents to see. I used to love the Mr Men books, we had a few, but not all of them. I’d get them from the library whenever I was given the chance.
The other thing I really remember vividly was playing live action Mr Men and Little Miss in the playground. Each person would be given a character to match their personality.When I was little there weren’t very many Little Miss books to choose from, in fact I can only remember Little Miss Bossy. It was inevitable, given the sort of child that I was that I would end up being Little Miss Bossy, although sometimes I was Mr Messy. They both suited my childhood. Being born in the 1970’s by the time I went to primary school it was all about the beginnings of girl power with Mrs Thatcher in charge and everyone loved America.
Thats why the Mr Men books were so good, they were really absolutely British. The pictures were fantastic, each drawn with felt tip pen. It made them more accessible and I’d spend many a happy hour trying to think up my own characters and create my own little books.
The Mr Men and Little Miss books were something which I was desperate to share with the kids, I mean, what a brilliant excuse to have to read them all again! Although we have bought an entire new set for the children both myself and my husband find that we still have lots of our vintage original versions. Just reading them can bring back really vivid memories and we drive the children mad by reminiscing with them about various times in our childhood when reading them! I’m also keen on getting them to create their own little Mr Men character books…
Of course, with the benefit of being in my forties and a mother to four children I now know why there were so many Mr Strong’s in the school fete. It must be one of the easiest book related fancy dress costumes out there. In fact I even recreated this costume for my own child recently.
As each year passes there are of course, even more brilliant Mr Men books to read and I often review them here on this blog. In fact (guilt) I have a little stack by my computer here which I must get around to reviewing!
Isn’t it fantastic to hear that to celebrate 45 years of the brand (shocking as that means its only a few years older than me) there is going to be a pop-up exhibition in London’s South Bank. Even better that it has been designed specifically with kids in mind, with exhibits displayed at a child’s scale throughout.
The exhibition will feature hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from the past 45 years, celebrating the nation’s favourite Mr Men and Little Miss characters. Fans will be able to add their own memorabilia to the exhibition via the Mr Men Little Miss virtual archive, by simply uploading an image of their favourite item on their phone or laptop. Consumer items uploaded to the virtual archive will be on display on rolling screens at the exhibition, alongside physical items, creating an ever-changing exhibition of the nation’s most-loved Mr Men and Little Miss memorabilia. The first 45 people to upload an item to the virtual archive will receive a limited edition print signed by Adam Hargreaves.
As a professional museum curator and a Mr Men fan I cant believe my luck! It couldn’t get much better really; a child friendly exhibition during the school holidays featuring our favourite book characters.
You’ll be able to explore the collection on loan from Mr Men Little Miss super fan Michelle Harrop. Fans can also add their own pieces to the exhibition via the virtual archive, take time out in the Mr Men Little Miss story time library area, and take snaps of themselves inside a specially-created ‘Happyland’ backdrop alongside their favourite Mr Men & Little Miss characters. The exhibition will also include a personalisation stand for visitors to take home their very own personalised print of a Mr Men or Little Miss character as a memento.
The Mr Men Little Miss Mini Museum will be open between Thursday 25th August and Monday 29th August 2016. The exhibition takes place at Gallery@OXO, situated on the ground floor of the OXO Tower on London’s South Bank.
Fans can upload their memorabilia to the Mr Men Little Miss archive at www.mrmen.com/archive
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