Miffed over Miffy memory

15th August 1997 at 01:00
We were interested to read Sean Lang's article on the new Miffy series (TES, July 18). It is heartening to know that a fondness of Miffy is spanning the generations.

Sean Lang wrote that the publishers, World International, had imposed a new editorial style on Miffy - a departure from the Miffy he remembered. He has, in fact, misunderstood the history of Miffy.

Dick Bruna wrote the first Miffy stories in Dutch in the 1960s; he wrote them in rhyme, without formal punctuation and without capital letters. This minimalist presentation perfectly complemented his simple drawings. When World International decided to publish a new UK edition, Dick Bruna asked us to restore the rhyming text and employed his own translator to do so. Dick Bruna says of the new edition: "Now I know that the English version is very close to the Dutch one and very much in balance with the artwork. So I am a happy author!" The Miffy books were created for parents to read to their young children (under five years old). This age group is too young to recognise punctuation, but can take pleasure in the design of the page, and following the words as they are pointed out to them. Many parents have commented on the appealing simplicity of the new edition.

People have such fond memories of the Miffy of their childhood, but a new generation is now discovering the real charm of Miffy as it was originally intended.

NINA FILLIPEK

Publishing manager World International Deanway Technology Centre Wilmslow Road Handforth Cheshire

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