lunes, 9 de mayo de 2011

Today is the 76th anniversary of the birth of Charles Roger Hargreaves

Charles Roger Hargreaves (9 May 1935 – 11 September 1988) was a British author and illustrator of children's books, notably the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, intended for very young readers. The books' simple and silly stories, with bright-coloured, boldly drawn illustrations, have been part of popular culture for over 25 years, with sales over 85 million worldwide in 20 languages.            


Hargreaves was born in a private hospital at 201 Bath Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, England, to Alfred Reginald and Ethel Mary Hargreaves, and grew up in High Lees, 703 Halifax Road, also in Cleckheaton, outside of which there now is a commemorative plaque.

Early life

He spent a year working in his father's laundry and dry-cleaning business before starting out in advertising. But his original ambition was to be a cartoonist; and, in 1971, while he was working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle. He initially had difficulty finding a publisher; but, once he did, the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years. In 1975 it spawned a BBC animated television series called Mr. Men Show, Mr Tickle being voiced by Arthur Lowe.
By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981, the Little Miss series of books began to appear. It, too, was made into a television series in 1983, which was narrated by John Alderton, who, with Pauline Collins, voiced the Men and Misses, respectively. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children's stories, including the Timbuctoo series of twenty-five books, John Mouse, and the Roundy and Squary books, he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men books and 33 Little Miss books.


Between 1979 and 1982 Hargreaves lived with his family in Guernsey. Then they settled at Sussex House Farm near Cowden, Kent. In 1988 Hargreaves died at the Kent and Sussex Hospital, Royal Tunbridge Wells, following a stroke. After his death his son Adam continued writing and drawing the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters with new stories. However, in April 2004, Roger's wife Christine sold the rights to the Mr. Men characters to the UK entertainment group Chorion, for £28 million.


With his wife, Christine, Hargreaves had four children: Adam, Giles, and twins Sophie and Amelia. The first of the Mr. Men characters is reported to have been created when Adam asked his father what a tickle looked like. Hargreaves drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms, which became Mr. Tickle.

Roger Hargreaves es un artista que nació hace 76 años, el 9 de mayo de 1935, y falleció el 11 de septiembre del 88. Este británico se convirtió en uno de los autores de libros infantiles más leídos de todo el mundo gracias a un estilo sencillo, repleto de colores, que resulta muy llamativo para los niños.

Aunque le esperaba una vida repleta de éxitos, Roger Hargreaves empezó trabajando en la lavandería de su padre antes de encontrar un trabajo en el que desarrollar su imaginación: publicista. Pero la vocación no tardó en imponerse y, en 1971, ya convertido en el director creativo de una firma londinense, escribió y dibujó su primer libro 'Mr. Tickle' ('Don Cosquillas'). Desde entonces, sus personaje no dejaron de brotar y de despertar un cariño muy especial entre los más pequeños.
 En España, podemos encontrar sus libros: 'Don Cosquillas', 'Don Lioso', 'Doña Rechoncha', 'Doña Menudita', 'Doña Tardona', 'Doña Problemas', 'Don Silencioso', 'Don Memorión' o 'Don Feliz ha perdido su sonrisa'.
En 1975, la obra de Roger Hargreaves dio el salto a la televisión de mano de la BBC, con una serie de dibujos animados que terminó de consagrar su fama. Gracias a Youtube podemos recordar un pequeño fragmento de la serie de Hargreaves en la que un tipo busca su sonrisa en la tierra más feliz del mundo:

Después de su muerte, en 1982, los hijos de Roger Hargreaves mantuvo su obra viva, escribiendo y dibujando nuevos episodios para sus personajes.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario