Oooh, we do all love the exciting event of a new royal baby – and Miffy is no exception. But she’s all in a quandary: how can she find the perfect gift to bestow?
We’re not quite sure when Miffy became a royal, but in this bright boardbook Queen Mif has donned her crown and has a right royal challenge on her little furry paws. A new royal baby warrants the perfect present, but the task is proving trickier than expected.
Seeking high and low, Queen Miffy will not rest until she finds the perfect gift. Presented with a plethora of possibilities, each suggestion is in turn rejected a being just not quite the thing. A drum could be fun… but then it might make an almighty din. Scissors and crayons might encourage artistic creativity – but imagine if the royal baby should accidentally snip a digit! Sweets are just too chewy and an elephant, well…
Using a well-loved tried-and-tested format, toddlers can lift the flaps to discover an exciting array of possible presents before finding one that is just about perfect in every way.
There are definite echoes of Rod Campbell’s classic Dear Zoo in this charming seek-and-find adventure, and it is presented with Bruna’s signature design flair and bold primary colours, in its neat square 12-page format – the perfect short for a toddler grappling with the early principles of reading.
With a simple narrative (though without the rhyming text of other Miffy stories) , there’s also some playful onomatopoeic rhythms with a “tum-ti-tum”, “snipperty-snip” and a “trumpety trump” to add a little spice, plus a happy conclusion that most toddlers are likely to approve of: a soft and squidgy teddy bear waiting for a cuddle and a kiss!
Fun fact Dick Bruna’s favourite artist is Henri Matisse, particularly the paper-cut outs designs which Matisse made at the end of his career. Feeling inspired, Bruna immediately knew that he wanted to emulate this style and work in two-dimensional art with very simple shapes and a palette of distinct bright colours.
Did you know? As well as winning numerous awards for graphic design and illustration during his illustrious career, Dick Bruna has also received two special honours by the royal command of Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands. In 1983, he was decorated as a Knight of the Order of the Orange-Nassau, and in 2001, he became Kinght Commander in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a civilian.
Author Notes Dick Bruna was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands in 1927; in 1943, his family went into hiding during the Second World War. During that time, Dick kept himself occupied with drawing and painting. Some designers and illustrators who worked for his father’s publishing company would come to visit the Bruna family at their place of hiding, and would give him drawing lessons. Travelling to Paris after the war, Bruna discovered the works of artists including Matisse and Leger and spent more and more of his time drawing and painting, and after joining his father’s publishing company (AW Bruna & Zoon) he designed some 2,000 book covers and posters. In 1953, he started creating his own picture books and in 1955 the first Miffy book was published. There are now almost 30 different Miffy titles and they have sold over 85 million copies. The Dick Bruna House dedicated to Dick Bruna and his creation, Miffy was opened in Utrecht in 2006.