Simon and Schuster are the new publishers of Miffy books. We’re long-term fans – they’re books I read when I was little and now H loves them too.
Miffy was first brought to life by Dick Bruna way back in 1955 by the Dutch artist Dick Bruna. We have a mighty fine collection and one of the things I’ve found the most charming is the not-quite-right translations of the books. Words that would never rhyme being used in the stories. I’m sure I didn’t care when I was young, I just read and got on with it.
So I have a sense of loyalty – and was a little wary when it was announced the books would be getting a bit of a revamp for modern times. I’m not a fan of change unless it’s for a good reason.
Fortunately, there is a good reason. The Miffy illustrations stay the same, and most of the rhymes stay the same or similar, but have a better structure. For example – there is a picture of a pear and some peapods, the original book mentions a cauliflower (probably to make the words flow better) yet it isn’t pictured. The new version of the book is much simpler and sticks to what you can see. See the two pictures for more examples.
I quite like them too. I bought ‘Miffy’ and ‘Miffy at the Zoo’ today and have compared both versions we own. But yet it says the translations date back to the 1990’s – so what did we have before this? What did I read in the seventies? Would it be unreasonable to buy a third version of the books purely for my own curiosity?
If, like me, you weren’t sure what was going to be done with the books, rest assured, it’s fine. It’s a job done well and very faithfully. Would I buy all the books again? I’m unsure – as we own them all already it could prove quite costly. Fortunately they’re being made available in small batches (Miffy at the Gallery is the third in the series – which was published via the Tate Bookstore not that long ago) so won’t break the bank. I’m hoping that the last book, Njintje is Stout (Miffy is Naughty) will get a translation, as I’m fairly sure that’s the only book that hasn’t been.
October is a bit of a cop-out with Miffy’s Dream getting republished! The only one without words – maybe new translator Tony Mitton needed a break 🙂 We like and have read a few of Tony Mitton’s books – though only own ‘The Somethingosaur’ which we reviewed a while back.
I can see there are also activity books available too, though didn’t buy those. It looks like Miffy is going to be well stocked in bookstores again which is quite frankly, a fabulous thing. You can find all the books over here – Miffy – the New Books (contains an affiliate link).