It is Miffy’s 60th anniversary next year and to celebrate publishers Simon and Schuster have relaunched a number of her classic tales. These, along with some brand new activity books, aim to engage a new generation by introducing them to this iconic character as well as giving parents the opportunity to reminisce about their childhoods.
miffy at the gallery is one of these republished books and is an excitable tale following Miffy and her family on a day out at the local art gallery. Miffy is inspired, if a little confused, by the work of Dutch painter Mondrian whose iconic painting (black vertical and horizontal lines with three primary colours and a white background) makes an appearance in the book. The family also loves the work of Matisse, a French artist known for his expressive colour and fauvist style, and whose work inspired the book’s cover.
The story – as with all the Miffy books rereleased this year – has been published with a modernised translation provided by award-winning poet Tony Mitton. Mitton, who started writing exclusively for children’s books at the age of 40, has updated Dick Bruna‘s classic rhymes for a new generation.
Another of the titles to be released this year is miffy draws. Completely different from miffy at the gallery, miffy draws is a brand new wipe-clean activity book. Every page has a different activity to do, each acting as a very basic mini design brief. Miffy’s bold, simplistic illustration style lends itself perfectly to doodly-detail and with wipe clean pages, the possibilities are endless!
Join the dot exercises at the bottom of each page will help improve dexterity and develop fine motor skills in young children, without distracting from the fun.
Despite the different formats, both books share a common goal. Whether it is encouraging you to look at art by others, or to create your own, both aim to show how much fun can be had through art.
Miffy might be heading for 60 but she is as fresh and innovative as ever! Here’s to the next 60 years!
Illustrations Dick Bruna © Mercis bv, 1953 – 2014