Google Doodle Honors 76th Birthday of 'Mr. Men' Author Roger Hargreaves
Author PC Magazine. Published on May 21, 2011 - 3:27 am (2821 views — 370 words
Google is celebrating what would have been the 76th birthday of children's author Roger Hargreaves with a series of homepage doodles depicting characters from his popular Mr. Men and Little Miss books.
Google doodlers have crafted more than a dozen versions of the company's logo featuring the cartoon characters from
Hargreaves' books, from Little Miss and Mr. Tickle to Mr. Happy and Mr. Messy.
Hargreaves' career as a children's book author started in 1971 when his young son asked him, "What does a tickle look like?" To explain, Hargreaves created Mr. Tickle, a small orange man with a big smile, tiny blue hat, and very long arms. That spawned five other charactersMr. Greedy, Mr. Nosey, Mr. Happy, Mr. Bump, and Mr. Sneezethe books for which were first published on August 10, 1971.
The books were an instant success, selling more than one million copies in the first three years. By the mid-70s, Hargreaves' books were turned into a BBC cartoon series, which was narrated by British actor Arthur Lowe. In 1981, the Little Miss Series appeared, and it too was turned into a BBC series by 1983.
Hargreaves died in 1988 after suffering a stroke. In 2004, his family sold the rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters for about $45.7 million to Chorion, which produces the "Noddy" series of children's books. According to Chorion, however, Hargreaves' son Adam, who first inspired his father's books, now writes and illustrates the series.
Chorion says the simplicity of the series appeals to all readers. It celebrated its 40th birthday this year, and according to the publisher, a Mr. Men book is sold every 2.5 seconds worldwide.
A full diagram of Mr. Men and Little Miss characters can be found on the Mr. Men Web site. To see all the Hargreaves doodles from today, click through the slideshow above.
Google has made headlines for its own in-house homepage doodles, meanwhile, including an interactive undersea-themed drawing in honor of author Jules Verne's 183rd birthday and 17 holiday-themed doodles that were live for two days in December.
Recently, it was revealed that Google obtained a patent for its popular homepage doodles, covering "systems and methods for enticing users to access a Web site."