Mr Men Little Miss – Try Again by Roger Hargreaves

The Blurb On The Back:

Discover more about you with the Mr Men and Little Miss

A new series to encourage children to understand more about their own emotions and how to manage them with the help of the Mr Men and Little Miss.

A book about resilience.

MR MEN LITTLE MISS – TRY AGAIN was released in the United Kingdom on 4th August 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order MR MEN LITTLE MISS – TRY AGAIN by Roger Hargreaves and Elizabeth Kilbey from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Little Miss Brave is not scared of anything.  When she decides to host an extreme sports day for the other Mr Men and Little Miss she asks her friend, Mr Bump, to help her.  But not all of the Mr Men and Little Miss are as brave as Little Miss Brave and some of the activities – like rock climbing and zip lining – are really quite scary.  Worried that the day will be a disaster, Little Miss Brave decides to show her friends how much fun the activities are, only to discover as she’s doing them that even she is capable of being frightened!  Fortunately Mr Bump is there to support her and show her how important it is to be resilient and to keep going, even when you feel like giving up …

Roger Hargreaves and Elizabeth Kilbey’s picture book (part of the DISCOVER MORE ABOUT YOU SERIES) is a misfire as it lacks a lot of the MR MEN AND LITTLE MISS silly humour, Mr Bump is under-used and it confuses resilience and persistence.  I needed a scene where Mr Bump explains to Little Miss Brave why it’s important to keep going and how he keeps going even when he’s hurt himself.  As such, it’s okay but, for me, doesn’t achieve what it wants to.

Mr Bump was always one of my favourite Mr Men characters, in part because I always felt desperate sorry for him as he kept hurting himself.  Little Miss Brave is not a character I am familiar with but I like the idea of a female character who ain’t afraid of nothing and who suddenly finds that maybe she isn’t quite as courageous as she thinks.

The big problem for me with the book is that given that Mr Bump is the only character in the MR MEN AND LITTLE MISS world who ever seems to hurt himself (he is literally wrapped in bandages), I would have liked to have had one line or scene where he explains how and why he keeps on going.  Instead, the book talks about how his clumsiness is embarrassing, which I felt was missing the point given that the cause of Little Miss Brave’s fear is the realisation that what she’s doing is dangerous and difficult and she could hurt herself which is exactly what Mr Bump has to face every day.  There’s also no scene where Mr Bump demonstrates to Little Miss Brave how to keep going or why it’s important to do so, instead he just shouts some encouraging words from the sidelines.  This is all a huge missed opportunity.

In addition, the book jacket claims that this book is about resilience but the message really seems to be about the persistence, i.e. how to keep going when you’re scared or nervous rather than how to pick yourself up when things go wrong.  This is because Little Miss Brave never actually suffers a set back that stops her from doing what she’s trying to do.  Instead she becomes frightened or discouraged but then keeps going regardless.  That’s not the same thing and I think it gives a misleading impression to young readers.

Finally, there just isn’t enough silly humour in this book.  You pick up MR MEN AND LITTLE MISS because it’s silly and ridiculous but apart from some jokes about how clumsy Mr Bump is there just isn’t any of that humour on display here.  In particular, there are no real visual jokes here and the conversations are all quite heavy handed.

I’ve read a number of new MR MEN AND LITTLE MISS books over the last 12 months, including a couple of other books in this DISCOVER YOU series.  However, for me this one fails to hit the spot and ultimately is a bit of a disappointment.

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