In 1955, Dutch artist Dick Bruna entertained his son by sketching a bunny in the garden of their holiday house; each night he made up stories about the bunny – whom he named Miffy. miffy is the first of 32 picture books starring this iconic character, and tells the story of her birth, using 12 of Dick Bruna’s simple illustrations, each one accompanied by four lines of rhyming text. This title was first published in the UK in 1963 by Methuen; in 2014 the texts were modernised by poet Tony Mitton, and the book republished by Simon and Schuster.
• After nearly 60 years, Miffy still appeals to children and adults around the world – over 85 million storybooks have sold, and the range is now translated into more than 50 languages.
• The Miffy stories explore the universal experiences of childhood and can therefore be enjoyed by children regardless of their nationality, race or culture. Dick Bruna’s simple illustrations complement his stories, in that their simplicity transcends generations and continents – everyone can understand his pictures.
• In recent research carried out in the UK, a focus group who were unaware of Miffy, was asked to guess when the character was created. They responded: “Perhaps 5 or 10 years ago”. The mark of a true classic is to look as contemporary as modern equivalents.
• miffy was the very first title featuring Dick Bruna’s little white bunny, and for many British people, its iconic cover is an indelible memory from their childhood. The book has now been updated – the images have stood the test of time, but the English verse (translated from Dick Bruna’s original Dutch verse) has been worked on by award-winning poet, Tony Mitton, so that it is now right for a modern British audience, thereby ensuring this classic book continues to hold a special place in the lives of many children in the UK today.
"Miffy is synonymous with children's storytime. The simple, yet striking, white bunny with a cross for a mouth must have been read to most children growing up. We still have fond memories of reading Miffy books ourselves, and now look forward to reading them to our own children. A true classic."
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