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Last on

Fri 19 Nov 2010 11:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 14 February 2010

Stephanie Flanders, BBC economics editor and daughter of the actor and singer Michael Flanders, examines the appeal of Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men books and how these bold, colourful drawings and simple stories continue to capture children's hearts.

Created in 1971, the Mr Men books have been an important part of many childhoods. Inspired by the author's son Adam, who one day inquired, 'what does a tickle look like?', the first character was born. The Little Miss books followed ten years later, worldwide sales have exceeded 100 million, and today the brand is flourishing under its new owners.

Stephanie takes a look at the Mr Men business and its growth over the years. She speaks to Adam Hargreaves, who tells the story behind the books and what inspired his father to create such a simplistic, yet hugely influential brand. Created in the humble surroundings of a small home office, the characters have reached a global audience, and they appeal to today's children as much as they did to their 1970s counterparts. Although he died in 1988, Roger Hargreaves was still the third-best selling author of the past decade, outstripping such feted writers as Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Pratchett and John Grisham.

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