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Book Review: Mr. Strong

Mr. StrongWhen I was a child I loved Roger Hargreaves’ Mr. Men and Little Miss books more than just about anything. Now, as an adult with the heart of a child–or the mind of a child as my arch-enemies might tell you–I love them even more. They were so simple, but so good. I know, good is a pretty generic term to toss out there when reviewing a book, but it’s good enough for me in this case.

I’ve been grabbing these books again at the library and leafing through them on breaks. My new favorite will not surprise you: Mr. Strong.

Here is the “plot.”

Mr. Strong is so strong that he breaks things without meaning to. This causes problems for him and others. But by the end of the book his strength has also helped to solve a problem. In a book this brief I can’t tell you anything else without venturing into spoiler territory.

Each one of the Mr. or Misses books focused on one character. Each character had an adjective or trait that defined them, right down to the way they looked. Some more than others–Mr. Messy was just a big pink scribble.

I love the art in these books. I love the stories, brief as they are. I’m not one for moralizing, but the morals in these stories are great. Pointing out that being grouchy can have its downside is a far cry from the heyday of Victorian literature where every pregnant women who conceived out of wedlock eventually died.

Did you ever read these books? Did you have a favorite? Who’s up for some nostalgia?


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  • Sue July 26, 2010, 5:04 am

    I grew up next to our city’s library. I spent all my time there, lost in books. Librarians were awesome, the helped teach me to read… I was 3. My favorite book were the “The Lonely Doll series, my favorite was “Edith and Mrs. Bear”.

  • Eric | Eden Journal July 26, 2010, 5:46 am

    Oh gosh, that book looks really familiar, but I really don’t remember anything about it. Looks like it’s time to head to the libarary to see if I can find any of these to read to my daughter.

  • Laurie July 26, 2010, 6:37 am

    Mr. Funny was my favorite, because he had a glass of toast for breakfast. Now that’s comedy.

  • John July 26, 2010, 7:01 am

    Read these books all the time! My wife and I were cracking up when we came across Little Miss Bossy thinking of our 3 year old daughter. I was always a fan of Mr. Topsy Turvy.

    Great memories…just saw a big display at Barnes & Noble with these books last week and it brought back a flood of childhood memories.

  • Heather July 26, 2010, 9:02 am

    I was too old for these by the time they came out. My faves from childhood were “The Poky Little Puppy” and “Madeleine,” because she was raised by nuns, the nuns were really nice and Madeleine always had great adventures! I’ve seen the Mr. Men and Little Miss books around, though! British import? I keep thinking these started across Da Pond. . ..

  • Mark Tosczak July 26, 2010, 11:06 am

    Holy smokes – I don’t think I’ve thought about these books for probably 30 years, but I remembered them as soon as I saw the picture. I have no idea who was my favorite, though. The memories aren’t that strong.