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My little boy is four years old and absolutely adores the Mr Men, so much so, that when I am out shopping, I seem to home in on anything that has a Mr Men theme. My only gripe is with the Mr Men books themselves. Don't get me wrong, I love the stories, but I find the binding on the books is so weak that the pages start falling out of the books. This has happened with all of our Mr Men books, and makes it quite awkward when reading a story, as it often jumps ahead unexpectedly! Mr Happy finds a hobby is part of a new set of Mr Men books, which differs from the originals by combining the characters together more in the stories, rather than the story just being about one character. We had this book in paperback, but I was delighted to find the same book in Matalan in hardback for £1.50 (RRP 2.99). The hardback version is much more robust and I haven't lost any pages yet! Anyway, to the story...We begin by being reintroduced to the lovable Mr Happy, probably the most recogniseable of all the Mr Men. He lives in a place called Happyland, and is a very optimistic, "glass half full" type of guy! In contrast to this optimistic personality is Mr Grumble, who we find fishing in the Happyland lake, although I can't imagine why he is in Happyland to begin with. Mr Grumble explains to Mr Happy that he hates fishing and he wants to find a hobby that he can enjoy doing. The story follows Mr Happy and Mr Grumble as the visit all the different Mr Men and see what they enjoy doing and whether they can find a suitable hobby for Mr Grumble. This book is beautifully illustrated and is especially appealing to young children because of the simplicity of the illustrations and the bright, bold colours. The pictures are very childlike and are easy for children to copy and draw. It is nice to see the original stories expanded on in a whole new series of books, and the humorous interactions between the clashing personalities of the different Mr Men. The story is lovely to read to children as it has a very "sing song" quality about it: "At the edge of the lake there was someone fishing. Fishing and grumbling. And grumbling and fishing. It was Mr Grumble." The text is broken up into very small paragraphs, which mainly consists of dialogue. This makes the story easy to follow and good for helping children to read, as you can get them to read a small section for themself of fill in a gap in the text when they are more familiar with the story. I have to give this book five stars. It may not be one of the main Mr Men stories, but it is part of a delightful new generation of Mr Men books that will delight parents and children alike.
Fantastic children's book series. As a youngster I remember my mother used to read the Mr Men books to me and I loved them. I loved them even more when I learn't to read them myself. They are so child friendly the words are bold and easy to distinguish, the illistrations are vibrant and attractive, each Mr men character is easily recognised through the shape and bright colours making it easy for the child to associate the various characters. The books themselves are relatively sturdy and well made. Also they are small and so easy to pack when on the move unlike most children books nowadays which are huge and made of solid cardboard! I think this series by Roger Hargreaves is perfect for the young reader and has remained a popular series for years, making it one of the best loved children's books around. It helped me and my sister to learn to read I'm sure it could help your kids too!
The Mr Men and Little Miss classic library's have been popular for many years and introduced us to some of the characters that we have come to love so dearly. As a young child the Mr Men and Little Miss stories played a big part in my reading and to be completely honest you wouldn't be wrong if you had said I was obsessed with anything remotely Mr Men like. As you can imagine therefore when in 1998 Roger Hargreaves' son Adam Hargreaves released a new story library that told new stories about existing characters I was more than eager to collect the books. When the books where first released the Mr Men ones had a blue spine with a blue stripe going down the right hand side of the back of the book and down the left hand side of the books front. The Little Miss Stories then had the same but in pink making it easy to distinguish between the two. It is these libraries of the books that I have but when I have seen them being sold recently I have seen that both Mr Men and Little Miss ones have a blue stripe - don't ask me why. The story I am going to review is number 2 in the Mr Men new library collection, which like the Little Miss one has 12 stories in it. The story is called Mr. Happy finds a hobby. The front cover of the books shows Mr Happy smiling broadly with a satchel in one hand and a fishing rod in the other. The back of the book has smaller pictures of all the books in the Mr Men and Little Miss new story library's making it easy for you to keep track of which ones you have left to buy and read. One day whilst out for a walk Mr Happy hears someone grumbling down by the lake, which is very close to his house. When he goes to look he finds Mr Grumble fishing. Mr Grumble then explains that he is fishing because Mr Quiet said it was fun and he is trying to find a hobby. Mr Happy ponders over it then decides that he might be able to help. Together Mr Grumble and Mr Happy visit Mr Rush but Mr Grumble soon decides he doesn't like driving fast. They then visit Little Miss Giggles but Mr Grumble doesn't like the circus nor does he like giggling. Will Mr Happy ever find Mr Grumble a hobby? This story is a really bright one that is clear to catch imaginations. Better still the story is not particularly predictable from the beginning, which is always an added bonus. The use of numerous Mr. Men and Little Miss characters also gives the book an added sparkle. The book itself is printed in the familiar format of text on the left hand side of the book and pictures on the right hand side. This format is more than suited to the book because the pictures engage the attention of those too young to understand the story properly and the writing engages the others. All in all I cannot find fault with the wonderful story and would highly recommend that anyone with the original classic library or anyone just wanting a small Mr Men collection should certainly purchase this book.