Mr Tickle by Roger Hargreaves

cover image

The 50th anniversary edition of Mr. Tickle, the first in the very popular Mr Men series, is a lush production, with an attractive eye-catching gold cover. It has an introduction telling the reader how the idea for the book was conceived - 8-year-old Adam Hargreaves asked his father 'What does a tickle look like?' Roger drew the memorable Mr. Tickle figure, with huge, long arms and a smug grin, and then went on to make a book, which became a favourite with many children. Mr. Tickle is a terror; he can reach downstairs with his long arms and sneak a biscuit out of the biscuit tin, and he can go on a path of destruction tickling figures in authority on the way. When he comes to a school, he quietly opens a classroom window and tickles the teacher, causing pandemonium. Next, he causes a traffic jam by tickling the policeman on traffic duty, and when he tickles a greengrocer, apples spill everywhere. Off course children will love to see the chaos that Mr. Tickle causes and will laugh out loud as his antics.

What makes the book really stand out are the fabulous bold illustrations in bright primary colours and outlined in black. Mr. Tickle is a hilarious figure, and the sight of his long, long arms appearing in the illustrations will lead to giggles. His face always has a great grin on it, while the very large faces of his victims take up a full page and are very stern and solemn.

This is a book that is made to be shared with an adult who could explain that while the actions of Mr Tickle are hilarious, in real life they may lead to accidents. And of course, the final pages will lead to much tickling and laughter as the child is warned that Mr. Tickle may be prowling about the house just waiting to tickle someone.

Themes: Tickling, Laughter.

Pat Pledger