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Happy Families books

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  • Happy Families books

    Did anyone go to their library or Book Corner in their classroom to read one of the Happy Families books which were written by Allan Ahlberg and was illustrated by his wife Jan(n)et?

    The characters in the books had surnames that started with the same letter of the alphabet as their occupation, obviously in the vein of Mr Bun the Baker. CBBC developed them into a series on BBC 1 circa 1993.

    It took me years to get the joke of Mr Tick the Teacher, as obviously the "Tick" part referred to the art of marking pupils' books, and also I often thought that the "Tick" book was almost satirical in such a way that real-life LEAs were closing schools down to the falling number of pupils on roll - it actually happened to my comprehensive school in any case - the book was about a small school that only had Mr Tick and wife's six offspring as pupils, and the powers that be reminded them that "all little schools must close" which seems like a reflection of real life to be honest. So, Mrs Tick was also the school secretary, the school cook etc, as well as the teacher, and the "pupils" were represented in different groups, and at the end of the story, the Ticks had won and had kept their school open.

    Other HF books included Miss Wobble the Waitress; Miss Jump the Jockey; Mrs Lather's Laundry; Master Money the Millionaire and others. I am almost reminded by visiting the local library on Fridays after school to borrow one of these books. I assume that one or two of them, perhaps Mrs Lather, ended up on Words and Pictures as well as Vicky Ireland was involved in the early 1990s CBBC series.

    They were a great series of books, just like the Mr Men and Postman Pat ones were from when I was younger. Of course, it wasn't to be confused with the series of the same name which was on Saturday nights in 1993 and was presented by Andrew O'Connor, and had the catchphrase of: "crank up your granny!" A completely different series to the children's one.

    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

  • #2
    I remember reading these, & my younger sister also often had them out from the library.
    The Trickster On The Roof