Mr Benn, King Rollo and David McKee
Some of you british folk who don’t want to show their ages may quietly remember a 70s’ cartoon
called Mister Benn. Artist and creator of the series David McKee has gone on to illustrate many
other great childrens’ books such as King Rollo and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant but for me,
the thirteen episodes about Mr Benn were the first thing that captured my imagination.
They were all about a man called Mr Benn, who had adventures by going into a local costume shop,
trying on a costume of a knight, a diver, a clown etc and then by going through the other door in the
changing room, he could then enter another land and there he had his adventure. Until, that is,
when the shopkeeper always appeared again, and took him back to the changing room.
More often than not Mr Benn would find a small memento in his pocket to remind him of his trip.
David turned his home in Festing Road in Putney, into Festive Road for the Mr Benn books and there is
a lovely story on the BBC site here about how people have remembered the place with fondness.
David not only creates wonderful books, but decorates the letters to his editor quite amazingly too.
A few more images from Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, what a talented guy.