I love the South Bank in London, I written a few times about the fabulous family times we've had there over the years and I'm gutted to find that we are out the country at the end of August as there is to be a fantastic new pop-up interactive exhibition to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Mr Men Little Miss.
As a child growing up in the 1980's I couldn't fail to fall in love with the Mr Men. I had a massive collection of the books and it was always an exciting time to know that Nanny C was coming to babysit as her regular gift for me would be a new Mr Men book that we would devour together. It was pure and simple joy, a fun character and a good moral to the story too. Who doesn't love the simplicity of the Mr Men stories? Never did a parent have to worry about inappropriate content with these fabulous books.
Then of course once I was growing out of the books my brother was old enough to enjoy them. He also loved them and I recall him collecting badges each time we ate out at a Beefeater restaurant. I was a young teenager and totally jealous that he was the one getting the badge, even though I was of course pretending I was too cool for them!
Then a few years back when my JJ was growing up my parents found all our old Mr Men books up in the loft along with loads of Ladybird books. Mr Men books really stand the test of time as JJ loved them just as much as I did, that mix of easy to read text and great big colourful pictures is a real winner. I think the earliest books are still my favourites, I suppose as they are the ones that I first owned, books like Mr Strong, Mr Bump and Mr Nosey.
We found one of my original books with my markings on the back cover, showing which character books I had managed to collect and which I was still coveting, there was only about three I needed to complete my collection. I'd love to show you a picture but sadly the books are at my parents as we agreed they would be a nice treat for the grandkids when they visit, along with all the old Beano and Dandy annuals too.
Even now I can hear the original Mr Men music from the TV series and Arthur Lowe's voice over 'This is the sad story of Mr Bump'. I'm transported back to over three decades ago when I was a little girl and the Mr Men really was the best thing on TV. I have to be honest and say I prefer the older series of Mr Men than the new one showed on Milkshake nowadays but I realise that things have to be modernised to compete against the programmes of today.
I've just spent an enjoyable hour sat here surfing Youtube and Pinterest showing my girls the original 1980's TV series and my husband kept popping over my shoulder as we found things on Pinterest and we both were shouting 'I loved Simon', 'oh the Game of Life, wasn't that fab?' and 'how could anyone not love the Fisher Price play garage?'. Times have changed but memories are precious and the Mr Men will always be a big part of my childhood.
My kids have grown up with them too, even before my twin girls were born I was bought the book Little Miss Twins as a gift and Miss E was offered referred to as Little Miss Sunshine and Miss M as Miss Bossy! There is a character to fit every child and I had to chuckle when I saw yesterday that some new characters have been revealed - Little Miss Fabulous, Little Miss Sparkle, Mr Marvellous and Mr Adventurer. It is great to see that the original author's son Adam Hargreaves is still keeping up his Dad's love and moving the series forward.
So if you are a fan too, why don't you head up to London at the end of August and enjoy exploring the collection, add your 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 yourself inside a specially-created ‘Happyland’ backdrop alongside your 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.
Sounds good, doesn't it? and best of all, it's FREE!
Mr Men Little Miss Mini Museum
Where: Gallery@OXO, OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London SE1 9PH
When: Thursday 25th August – Monday 29th August 2016
Join in with a Virtual Archive
You can join in and add images of your own memorabilia to the exhibition via the Mr Men Little Miss virtual archive, by simply uploading an image of your favourite item on your phone or laptop.
All the items uploaded to the virtual archive will be on display on rolling screens at the exhibition, alongside the physical items, creating an ever-changing exhibition of the nation’s most-loved Mr Men and Little Miss memorabilia.
Also the first 45 people to upload an item to the virtual archive will receive a limited edition print signed by Adam Hargreaves, so make sure you act quick!
Follow the characters on social media for the latest news and competitions:
Twitter - @MrMenOfficial
Instagram - @MrMenOfficial
Facebook – www.facebook.com/mrmenlittlemiss
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