(1935–1988), British author and illustrator, whose earlier career as creative director of an advertising agency influenced the visual style of the small format Mr. Men and Little Miss books he created. These have achieved enormous popularity worldwide, have been translated into fifteen languages, and have been equally successful as animations. The first of the seventy-three books, Mr. Tickle (1971), was created when his son asked him what a tickle looked like, and subsequent titles continued to personify human characteristics. Since Hargreaves's death, further titles have appeared under his name, but written and illustrated by his son, who also manages the considerable advertising, television, and merchandise industry these characters have engendered. Hargreaves also wrote a series of Timbuctoo animal stories (1979) and tales about John Mouse. His books are aimed at the youngest audience, but remain equally popular with older readers because of their funny, simply drawn pictures filled with bold primary colors.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.