Little Miss Sunshine (Screengrab from Google Doodle)

The animated characters created by British children’s author Roger Hargreaves have captured the imagination of children with their simplicity and silliness for 40 years. Monday, 16 Google Doodles paid tribute to the characters of Hargreaves’s “Mr. Men” and “Little Miss” series. Hargreaves would have been 76.

Hargreaves’ first character is said to have been created in 1971 when his son Adam asked him what a tickle looked like. Hargreaves drew a figure with a round, orange body, a toothy grin, and long, rubbery arms. Mr. Tickle was born:

Mr. Tickle (All screengrabs from

Hargreaves’s work remains relevant today, with an iPhone app featuring the character Mr. Bump and a big screen adaptation of Mr. Men by 20th Century Fox on the way.

View all of Mr. Men and Little Miss characters here, including the pink, squiggly character of Mr. Messy, whose garden is overgrown and washing up is never done:

Mr. Messy