The misadventures of a first time father

Tag Archives: Mr Men

It’s no secret that I absolutely love reading to my son.

I don’t know if, at just a few weeks old, his mind absorbs anything of what I’m actually saying so much as just listening to his father’s voice, but either way, it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. I try very much to make sure that at some point in the evening before bed, we get some father-son time, holding him, and reading him a story.

Needless to say, that makes children’s books my Achilles’ Heel. My wife will attest that I could spend the entire day in the Children’s Section of a bookstore, fascinated by all the offerings, both classic and modern. It can be a dangerous thing, I admit.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few of my most recent finds to add to the little man’s bookshelf.

We’re in a Book by Mo Willems

I had never heard of Mo Willems before, but apparently Elephant and Piggie are a series of books, which is great to hear, because I really loved this one. Sat down and read it last night, once to the kid and once to myself because I got such a chuckle out of it.

With cute color drawings of Elephant and Piggie set against stark white backgrounds, the fourth wall is broken as the duo learn someone is watching them and that someone is the reader. They jump for joy that they’re “in a book” and then go into a panic when they realize that at some point, the book has to end. I really, really loved this and think it would be hard for any parent to resist.

Mr. Daydream by Roger Hargreaves

Being the open book that I am (all pun intended), it will come as no surprise how much I adore the Mr Men and Little Miss books. I went off on my Roger Hargreaves lovefest in an earlier post, and jumped at the chance when I found this one mixed in with some Berenstain Bears at our local Barnes and Noble, especially since they aren’t carrying the Mr Men series anymore.

So when I came across the last one remaining in the store, I snatched it up quickly. The 13th book in the Mr. Men series, it tells the story of a little boy named Jack, who lets his thoughts run wild when he looks out the window at school one day and suddenly sees Mr Daydream, who teaches him the power of imagination.

I Wish that I had Duck Feet by Dr. Seuss

We haven’t read this one yet, but I love the message of it. Published in 1965, it is the story of a young boy who wishes he could have different animal body parts (like a tiger tail) or mechanical body parts (like a water spout on his head). As he thinks about what life could be like with these wishes granted, he also realizes what problems might arise from them, and, in the end, realizes that the best thing to be, is just himself. What can I say, I love a good “be who you are” story. šŸ™‚

So, those are the latest additions to the bookshelf that I’m sure we’ll be pulling off time and time again in the years ahead.

Whether he understands them or not right now doesn’t matter. He’s still developing. What’s nice is that we get to spend time together, as father and son, and that’s a story that I never want to end. šŸ™‚


A medium-sized package awaited me on the front steps yesterday as I returned home from work, and in it, a visit to the past and anticipation to the future.

The package, with its familiar “half-smile” logo from Amazon.com contained the very first Christmas present that I have purchased for my little boy. At only a few weeks old, he’s too young to know what it is or for him, I’m sure, but regardless, I scurried it away to the top of my closet shelf, where I keep Christmas gifts I want out of sight.

Inside was the 40th Anniversary, hardcover set of Roger Hargreaves’ “Mr Men” children’s book series.

If you’re unfamiliar, Mr. Men was a series first published in the United Kingdom that would yield 49 books total over time. It began back in 1971 and featured characters with names like “Mr Tickle” or “Mr Bump” with colorful characters whose physical form looked like what a child might picture a tickle to look like, or messy to appear.

The books spawned a female version of the series called “little Miss” and continued beyond Roger’s death in 1988. After that, his son, Adam, who had inspired the series by asking his dad “what does a tickle look like?” took over with new stories and characters.

This is a series that i have loved ever since I was a kid, and remember time and again the amount of glee I would get taking one out of the library and looking at the incredibly colorful, very geometric characters in Hargreaves’ world.

They were simple stories, but each one with an important message, and drawn in a very simple style with bold colors that were striking to any child, as well as any adult with an imagination.

My wife and I came across one in our Barnes and Noble this past year that we decided to pick up well before our little guy was born, Mr. Cheerful. We used it one night when he was antsy in his cradle, showing him the bright, colorful drawings splashed across the pages to calm him down. I probably had more fun reading it than he did sitting there staring at me acting so goofy.

Unfortunately, though, we recently learned that Barnes and Noble was no long carrying the books, which made me Mr. Sad.

So, when I saw the 40th Anniversary set containing the original ten volumes (Mr. Tickle, Mr. Greedy, Mr. Happy, Mr. Nosey, Mr. Sneeze, Mr. Bump, Mr. Snow, Mr. Messy, Mr. Topsy-Turvy and Mr. Silly) and for the bargain price of just over $13, I could not resist snatching them up to add to the little guy’s book collection this Christmas.

What fun awaits us in the world of Mr Men when he will be able to pay attention to what’s being read to him, let alone when he starts to read on his own. Perhaps we’ll come up with a unique name for him too, like Mr. Yeller, or Mr. Poopy. šŸ™‚



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