By Roger Hargreaves (Egmont)
Do you remember the Mr Men and Little Miss series from when you are a child? I had dismissed them as being a bit boring with rather predictable story lines but recently my son’s Grade 3 class have spent a few weeks reading and talking about emotions and personal qualities – all based on this series. The series offers a very clever way of getting children to discuss personality types and how we can be combinations of different types but we need all types in the world. In each story the character is given a challenge – Little Miss Sunshine comes across Miseryland – she is reprimanded for breaking all the rules and when she asks why people aren’t allowed to smile and laugh she’s told because that’s the rule! So she simply suggests changing the rules and turning it into Laughterland – so they do. Simple and effective conflict resolution for young children.
To use the books as springboards for discussion on emotions, start by asking your child to pick which Mr Men or Little Miss character they think best describes themselves. Then talk about how each of us can be Mr Grumpy or Little Miss Sunshine on different days and how we can try be more like our favourite characters. Also look at how it’s not about being the best character – each has a role to play and each can teach you something.
There are loads of characters to choose from, as Roger Hargreave’s son has added to his father’s original dynasty. My children identified themselves as combinations of characters, from Little Miss Sunshine meets Little Miss Messy to Little Miss Organised meets Little Miss Sporty and two new ones my son created – Mr Sweet Tooth meets Mr Lego!
Book Character Day – The series is great for dress up outfits with little effort. For other ideas check our Pinterest boards.
PS: If you want a good laugh and a completely over the top, deeper than necessary analysis of the Mr Men series these cult reviews have become an internet hit – consider Mr Happy: ‘What is it that leads Mr Happy to wander away from an existence that, if truly flawless, should suffice to satisfy and sustain him? Why this need to venture deep into the mysterious unknown of the forest?’ 🙂