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Mr. Happy - Roger Hargreaves

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Roger Hargreaves / Paperback / 36 Pages / Book is published 2003-04-03 by Egmont Books Ltd / Alternative title: Mr. Men Library: Mr. Happy

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    9 Reviews
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      24.04.2013 12:01
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      Mr.Happy as you've never read it before...

      Mr.Happy is just one of Roger Hargreaves marvelous creations known as the Mr.Men whose books are still going strong today, decades after their adventures were first published!

      Mr.Happy is perhaps one of the best recognized and best-loved of all the Mr.Men with his big yellow bonce and his beaming smile. Who wouldn't be cheered up by seeing that big yellow face?

      Well one day, whilst out in the woods for a walk, Mr.Happy stumbles across that someone who isn't cheered by his appearance. Shut away down a dark and dismal staircase, hidden in a tree, Mr.Happy discovers someone who looks just like him apart from one notable difference. He is sad. Really sad. Downright miserable in fact. And so, Mr.Happy takes him home, determined to make his new friend happy again...whether he wants it or not.

      Though, on the surface, this is a refreshingly innocent kids book, I can't help but wonder at the subtext here. Is this story really as straightforward as it seems?

      Who put the miserable character there and how did Mr.Happy just "stumble" across him? Is it not more likely perhaps that what we are seeing is a Mr.Men who is more conflicted and disturbed than he appears to be? Could it not be that the journey that Mr.Happy takes to the bottom of that staircase hidden in a tree is actually a journey into his mind, into the very core of his soul and his subconscious, and that in actuality Mr.Happy is not happy at all until he faces his inner turmoil and attacks it head-on?

      Or is this perhaps a satirical look at society and the way in which it forces us all to conform to an ideal? One possibility is that Mr.Happy represents Society and the sad character represents the people and that, by taking this new character in and subjecting him to what basically amounts to as emotional brain-washing, this story is really about the way in which society tries to make us all fit in to the boxes it has created for us; regardless of our own feelings on the matter.

      Who is to say that the sad character wasn't 'happy' being sad until Mr.Happy stuck his oar in and decided to meddle.

      Maybe this IS an innocent kids book, but to my mind there is more going on than first appears and parents should read this to their children with an air of caution....

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        29.10.2010 18:13
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        I still don't know what a fat yellow bloke with no genitals has got to smile about

        Back in the 1970's whilst Roger Hargreaves (if that is his real name) was scribbling away and creating his world of multi-coloured, randomly shaped social misfits known as the Mr Men, Carole King was busy scribbling away writing tuneful, whiney pop ballads.

        It was Ms King who sang 'Snow is cold, rain is wet...' and if one of Mr Hargreaves contemporaries can speak as plainly as that then so can I - Mr Happy is a piss-poor book.

        It's the 3rd Mr Man book and is very very weak.

        On the face of it, it's colourful enough, with clear drawings for the kiddies and simple enough prose and it's in a similar vein to the other 45 Mr Men books but when you actually sit down to read it you realise how poor it is.

        *************SPOILERS ON******************

        In the book we're introduced to Mr Happy from Happyland and we learn absolutely nothing about him other than the fact that he's happy and likes to walk in the trees. This is a shame as when the character is revisited in later books we discover that he's a much deeper, even sinister character.

        In 'Mr Grumpy' he acts almost like a mafia boss - when Mr Grumpy makes the mistake of standing on Mr Happy's foot Mr Happy enlists the help of his mutant enforcer Mr Tickle to endlessly harass Grumpy until he changes his ways and in 'Mr Quiet' he lures Mr Quiet away from his comfortable life and gets him to work for him in his 'library'.

        But back to the thin plot of 'Mr Happy' itself...

        Whilst walking in the trees he discovers a door in a tree which leads down to a dungeon where a near identical man is living, seemingly unaware of what goes on outside of his prison. Mr Happy forces him to leave his underground home and keeps him in Happyland until he too is happy. The man who was known as Mr Miserable is never again mentioned in any other Mr Man book....

        There are many questions to be asked about this uncomfortable book:

        1) Why is Mr Miserable living underground with no knowledge of Happyland?
        2) Who put him there?
        3) Is the happiness of Happyland only a façade as all undesirables (such as Mr Miserable) are imprisoned, out of site and out of mind and only released back into society after a period of isolation and then indoctrination into the way of being Happy?
        4) Is not this imprisonment of anyone who isn't happy not unlike social cleansing?
        5) How does Mr Happy really convert Mr Miserable?
        6) What's in the air / water supply/ food chain that makes the people (& flowers!) of Happyland so happy?
        7) Why does Mr Miserable look identical to Mr Happy? Has genetic engineering or cloning taken place?
        8) If, as I suspect, Mr Happy is really a criminal mastermind pulling the strings behind all of the weird goings on in the Mr Man world, is Mr Miserable being set up to be used as a decoy when some of Mr Happy's enemies come a calling? There are no further appearances of Mr Miserable in the other published Mr Men books but internet rumours abound about Hargreaves other works: 'Mr Patsy', 'Mr Assassin', 'Mr Clone', 'Mr Clone' and 'Mr Clone'.
        9) Why is Mr Happy yellow and round? It makes his face look just like the emblem of many hippies and drugtakers who were prolific in the Americas in the late 1960's - early 1970's.
        10) Is it a parable of a police state or just the random writings of a man influenced by counter-culture and polluting the minds of our young?

        However, if you don't dig too deep, don't expect a logical plot and want to find a quick bedtime read for your sprogs then this Mr Man book like all the others is a good bet.

        With text pages on the left and pictures on the right they're perfect for reading a story whilst giving your young one a clear view of the picture and as they get old enough to read to themselves the books are a nice handy size.

        At the moment you can buy Mr Happy (or any other Mr Man or Little Miss book) for 99p from The Works, I think you can still get them at Wilkinsons for about £3 for 2 or the RRP is £2.50.

        As Mr Happy has been in print continuously since 1971 you should also be able to find 2nd hand copies dirt cheap on e-bay, in charity shops or car boot sales.

        Enjoy, but don't blame me if your child if your child starts asking awkward questions about ethnic cleansing, prisons, drugs, counterculture or if they emulate Mr Miserable and are led away somewhere by a fat, naked, yellow eunuch.

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          03.04.2010 10:21
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          A really sweet read.

          Mr Happy is no. 3 in the Mr Mr Men Library series by Roger Hargreaves.

          Mr Happy, as you can see from the above picture, is a very jolly fellow! Mr Happy should also be called Mr Lucky as he lives 'on the other side of the world, where the sun shines hotter than here' which, let's face it, isn't hard to achieve! No, not Australia as I have never heard of a place called Happyland there and this is where Mr Happy resides.

          Every one is happy in Happyland of course, even the flowers and the animals. And listen to this - Mr Happy is 'fat and round AND happy' - let that be a lesson to us all who constantly worry about our weight!

          In this story Mr Happy crosses the boundaries of Happyland and comes across a very unusual tree with a door in it and, curious to see who lives there, goes in to investigate.

          Astoninshingly, Mr Happy comes across his double in all ways but one - this fat, round, yellow little fellow is miserable - in fact he is Mr Miserable!
          Mr Happy can't bear seeing someone so unhappy so he has a plan to cheer his new friend up. Read the book to see if he succeeds.

          My son likes this book, although I have to say that the story takes a little longer to get going that most Hargreave books - we don't meet Mr Miserable until page 10 of 18 and the storyline is even more simple than usual in the fact that there is no real moral to this particular tale. It does however end with some nice advice about what to do if you are feeling miserable!

          As always in Hargreaves' Mr Men series, the language is simple and flows nicely and the picutures are vibrant and eyecatching.

          A nice little read.

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          16.10.2009 15:34
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          Mr Happy meets Mr Miserable and a fantastic transformation begins...

          Mr Happy - one of the earliest books I ever remember reading as a child. I remember collecting most of the Mr Men books, but for some reason this one always sticks out in my memory.

          Mr Happy lives in Happyland, and doesn't know sadness until he meets Mr Miserable. Mr Happy befriends his unhappy companion, and before long a remarkable transformation begins to come over Mr Miserable...

          I guess it's because it's such a simple formula for a story, and, in the usual Mr Men style, it has a simple message to it. The illustrations, alongside the wonderful words, make it hard not to smile when reading this book.

          Whatever is going on in your life, whether you're young, old, reasonably content or feeling really down, this book is sure to make you feel better. It remains one of my favourite books of all time, for this very reason!

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          23.06.2009 09:54
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          Book 3 in the original Mr Men series

          I was very surprised the other day when cleaning through some old junk in preparation for university. Amongst all the rubbish was none other than 'Mr Happy', the third book in the original Mr Men collection.

          The wonderful Roger Hargreaves was responsible for the Mr Men [and later Little Miss] series, writing and illustrating each of the books in the series. Released back in 1971, Mr Happy tells the story of the title character, a rather round and plump individual who is yellow in colour and wears an enormous smile upon his face. The picture on the front of the book to me appears almost smug...

          The book is 41 pages long and is a simple rectangular shape with Mr Happy standing on a nice, white background. Inside the book there is usually a few sentences on each left page with the bright and vibrant illustrations on the opposite side.

          Mr Happy lives in the imaginary world of Happyland and his story involves him meeting Mr Miserable. Mr Miserable is an exact replica of Mr Happy except for the fact that he is down in the dumps [hence his name obviously]. The book deciphers page by page Mr Happy's struggle to make his miserable new friend as happy with the world as he is himself. He does this through various ways but whether or not he succeeds is contained within the pages of the book!

          Hargreaves is excellent at using very simple pictures and characters that are very effective at teaching children the basic range of human emotions whilst also creating very funny and entertaining stories at the same time.

          There isn't much writing in the book as the words work in conjunction with the pictures allowing the reader to interpret the story at their own pace. The language that is used is extremely simple and is in a rather large font making it easy to read.

          With characters that are easy to draw and have basic features that make them stand out and not very hard for children to identify, Hargreaves has created a unique collection in the Mr Men franchise. Mr Happy is not one of my favourite stories, I remember finding him very irritating as a child as I found it hard to grasp the concept that somebody could always be smiling. What if they fell over and hurt themselves? However, the innocence of the stories and the entertainment value that is packed within them, do make these a worthwhile purchase for any young child.

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            03.03.2009 21:31
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            sure to brighten your day!

            'Mr Happy' is number 3 in the Mr Men series by Roger Hargreaves. It was published in 1971 and has been popular ever since.

            Mr Happy is a round, bright yellow fellow with a big smile. Mr Happy lives in a cottage in a place called Happyland and this story describes what happens one day when Mr Happy goes for a walk and finds someone who looks exactly like him but isn't happy. He is in fact Mr Miserable, and he is in dire need of a bit of cheering up. Who better to do it than Mr Happy?

            'Mr Happy' has never been one of my favourites from the Mr Men series but my children all love him and demand to be read this one again and again. My eldest says it's because he loves Mr Happy's 'happy, smiley face'.

            The Mr Men books are a lovely size for little hands and have bright, cheerful illustrations on all the right hand pages. The characters are simply drawn, but bright and instantly recognisable.

            The RRP for this book is £2.50 but you can find it cheaper on Amazon or in Tesco. The Book People have a very good offer on at the moment if you purchase the whole Mr Men set.

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            25.11.2008 17:38
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            Smile with Mr Happy

            Mr Happy is a character in the Mr Men collection of books, which were written first by Roger Hargreaves and then later by his son Adam. The collection contains 46 stories with Mr Happy being number 3 and therefore written by Roger Hargreaves.

            Mr Happy is a round shaped character that is bright yellow in colour and therefore gives off a very sunny image that suits his name perfectly. Mr Happy also has the broadest smile you have ever seen. This picture of Mr Happy can be found on the front of the book, which is itself square and white. His name is then printed in bold block capitals above his head. Turning the book over you will find that the reverse holds smaller pictures of all the other Mr Men characters in the series along with their names and numbers. This is a great little feature as it means you can easily keep track of which books you have and haven't read.

            Mr Happy's story is printed in the same format as all the others in the collection with black writing on a white background on the left hand side of the book and extremely colourful and cheery pictures on the right. This tried and tested format is great for children of all ages, as the black on white text makes it easy for those started to read to tackle the book and the colourful pictures keep younger (and older) children entertained.

            Mr Happy's story begins by introducing us to Happyland. In Happyland everyone is happy all of the time and it is here that Mr Happy lives. Now Mr Happy's cottage is beside a lake, at the foot of a mountain and next door to a wood. One day Mr Happy was out walking through the trees in the wood when he noticed a small, narrow yellow door in the trunk of a tree. Being a curious sort of fellow Mr Happy turned the handle of the door. The door was unlocked and so Mr Happy went inside.

            Beyond the doorway was a narrow staircase that went down and down and so Mr Happy climbed down and down. At the bottom of the staircase there was another narrow door but this time the door was red. Knocking on the door Mr Happy heard a voice say, "Who's there?" and so he entered the room. Inside was someone who looked exactly like Mr Happy apart from the fact that he was sad. Who was the person and could Mr Happy make him happy?

            This is a really good Mr Men story and definitely worthy of its place in the series. The character of Mr Happy is quite vibrant and cheery and so does make you feel happy. The fact that he is always smiling makes you want to smile as you read along.

            Mr Happy can easily be purchased from any good book store as well as quite a few supermarkets and online. Its RRP is around the £2.50 mark but it can be bought for less if you shop around.

            My last point on this book however is that when purchasing the story you must be aware of one thing and that is that once you've purchased one Mr Men book you'll keep going back until you've purchased them all.

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            07.10.2008 17:37
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            Mr Men No. 3 Mr Happy

            Number 3 in the Mr Men series created by Roger Hargreaves back in 1971 is Mr Happy. Hargreaves examines emotions and feelings in his books that are otherwise hard to tell what they look like, such as the first two, Mr Tickle and Mr Greedy. Mr Happy is round and yellow, with a beaming smile from ear to ear.

            The story tells of Mr Happy going for a walk and coming across someone who is exactly like him, only is completely unhappy. His name is Mr Miserable. Mr Happy then proceeds to show Mr Miserable how to be happy, and at the end, they both go away happy.

            The Mr Men books usually have a moral to the story, and this one shows how important it is to be happy as opposed to be miserable, and also how easy it is. It also shows the good nature of Mr Happy to take the time to make sure Mr Miserable wasn't miserable any more. The illustrations for the book are very colourful and pleasing to the eye. They are on the right hand pages, while the writing is all on the left hand pages. The writing is simple enough to keep kids interested in the story, although probably too advanced for those just starting out reading.

            The Mr Men books retail for £2.50 each and are available in most bookshops. I recommend this book as well as the other Mr Men and Little Miss books.

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              07.07.2008 18:43
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              fun book in the collection for children

              Mr Happy is number 3 in the Mr Man collection. He is a round shaped man and is bright yellow in colour. He always has a massive smile.

              The cover of the book is white with a picture of Mr Happy and the title above this in black lettering. The back cover of the book is also white and has smaller pictures showing the other characters available in the collection.

              THE STORY

              The book begins by telling us that on the other side of the world there is a place called Happyland, here the trees are a hundred feet tall. Everyone who lives in Happyland is always happy and wherever you go you will find happy smiling faces, even the flowers smile and the animals. Happyland is where Mr Happy lives. He lives in a small cottage next to the lake at the bottom of a mountain and next to the woods.

              Mr Happy is out having a walk through the woods near his home and he comes across something quite extraordinary. In the bottom of one of the giant trees he found a yellow door. It was only a small door. He wondered would could live there. He opened the door to see what was inside. He went inside the door and found a small narrow winding staircase and he started walking down it. The stairs seemed to go on for quite a long time but eventually Mr happy come to the bottom of them and looked around and found another small narrow door. This door was red.

              Mr Happy knocked on the red door and a voice came back asking who was there. Mr Happy opened the door and found somebody who looked just like him sitting on a stool. The person who he found looked exactly the same as Mr Happy except that instead of a big smiley face this man looked very sad and miserable. Mr Happy said hello and introduced himself. The other person then introduced himself to Mr Happy, he said his name was Mr Miserable.

              Would Mr Happy be able to make Mr Miserable into a happy person or would Mr Miserable turn Mr Happy miserable?

              MY OPINION

              This is a great fun book in the collection. My boys enjoy me reading this to them. The story is easy to follow as it has been written in very simple words and the book is also accompanied by nice bright illustrations. I have found that the illustrations help to keep my 3 year old involved in the book and stop him wondering off to do something else.

              The book has been laid out in a very simple to follow way with the writing on plain white pages on the left hand side of the book and the illustrations on the right hand side. The one problem with this and the other books in the collection is that the writing is quite small. We did find that our eldest was put off from trying to read the book independently but with encouragement he is now able to do this very well.

              The story is only short so it can be read in a few minutes so this and the other books make great bedtime stories.

              INFO

              The book was written by Roger Hargreaves and published by Egmont UK Limited. The retail price for the book is £1.99 but they can be bought in Wilkinson's for £1.49. If you shop around you can find them cheaper that the retail price.

              There are a total of 46 books in the collection with Mr Happy being number 3. If you would like any further information on this or any book in the collection then please visit www.mrmen.com

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            • Product Details

              Book Series: Mr. Men Library