Miffy is a ubiquitous figure from my early childhood.
If you’re not conversant with the world of Miffy, check out the fantastic website here.
To say that I loved Miffy would be a slight understatement.
Miffy was my favourite of favourites. I wanted to be Miffy, and if I couldn’t be Miffy, I would settle for being Miffy’s best friend.
When I first learned to write, and we had to write our own stories at school, my parents were called in to see the teacher, who begged them to ban me from my Miffy fix, as I was writing nothing but stories about how Miffy and I would hang out together and have the best time.
It didn’t work. Eventually Miffy was verboten in school time.
I was devastated.
The stories about Miffy are, in retrospect, fairly boring if you are an adult. Dick Bruna, the author and illustrator, created Miffy in 1953 to keep small children amused on a wet holiday week. Miffy is simply drawn and has simple, ordinary day to day adventures in her simple, ordinary life.
The original stories are in Dutch, and the name Miffy was the responsibility of the English language translator, rather than Bruna himself.
You can read about Bruna here.
All the Miffy stories are written in rhyme.
I confess that it was never the stories that held my attention, it was always the simple, iconic drawings in bright, primary coloured blocks that held my fascination, and still does.
Current publishers, Simon and Schuster, have announced that they will be revamping the traditional Miffy stories to appeal to a more modern audience, with new verses written by contemporary children’s author, Tony Mitton. You can read about it here.
This might be a good thing, it might not. I am reserving judgement until I have seen a new version.
What do you think?
All the original Miffy books are still in print, as well as a diffusion line of cards, games, toys and even pancake moulds.