OK. So if your kids don’t know about Mr Benn then they have most definitely missed out.
Mr Benn, for those of you too young to remember, was an AWESOME TV series that went out in the early seventies. Only 14 episodes were made but I loved watching it and don’t ever remember seeing an episode and thinking ‘Hmmm, I’m sure I’ve seen this one before’.
In fact, I think my love (obsession) with dressing up can be attributed to Mr Benn.
Mr Benn is your average kind of man – so because he was created in the seventies, this means he wears a bowler hat and a pinstriped suit (I expect he’s a City Banker, though a very nice one). He goes into a fancy-dress shop and changes into something marvellous. Then, through a different door he goes off and has an adventure. The shop owner appears and directs him back to the shop and after he’s changed he goes home.
This edition has just come out and is about a space adventure. The planets he visits are really cool – one has jewels (my magpie daughter’s favourite), one is colourless and one has terrible screeching noises (the reason why everyone wears a hat).
At the end of this journey Mr Benn examines the gold he took from the jewel studded planet to find that it has turned to a lump of stone. But he doesn’t mind: it is still treasure in his eyes, just as the adventures of Mr Benn are treasures for me.
I have shown the kids some of the episodes and they loved them, but being used to more sophisticated cartoons, they much prefer the books. A bit of nostalgia for the grown ups and cracking good reads for the kids – what more could you ask?