Friday, 28 November 2014

Faster went the van, faster still, until, until, UNTIL ...

Mr Man & the new red van hardback vintage book
Mr. Man & The New Red Van written by Richard Forbes and published in 1963 by the Friday Press. Edgar Norfield provides the delightful illustrations using primary colours for extra impact.

While not written especially as a beginning-to-read book, the vocabulary is simple, and the few difficult words are repeated to give children practice.

with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse

Mister Man lives in a house with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse. Now one wet day said Mister Man, "I think I will buy a new red van." A new red van, said the cat with a purr, "What fun we will have. It will make such a stir." "A van," growled the dog, "I like to walk."

The mouse had a cold, and could not talk. 

So Mister Man went into town with the cat, the dog and the mouse who was brown. 
The rain came down and the wind it blew. The cat grew cold, and the mouse did too.
"As you make such a fuss we will catch a bus. It will be dry inside, and we will have a nice ride."

Mr Man

The story follows Mister Man, the cat, the dog and the mouse into town and out into the countryside in their new red van.

The dog said, "Now we can go nice and fast," the van sped along. 

But the mouse was sad.
He knew it was bad, to speed when there is no need.

faster went the van and faster still until, until, until ...

Faster went the van, faster still,
Until, until, UNTIL...

Out of the lorry got a great big man and he came across to the new red van.
And he said, "Am I Cross?"  "Yes, I am."

"It is wrong to go fast, do you see?"
"You'll be sorry you bumped into me."
And with that he gave an enormous sneeze
which blew the van right into the trees!

(This illustration reminds of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where the flying car ended up in the whomping willow!)

At the top of the tree stood a big black bird,
he stared at the van, and said, "MyWord"

Poor Mister Man!

His lovely new van, red paint chipped, a new lamp ripped - pushed out of a tree, 
Oh, my goodness me!

But the black bird and his friends were eager to help, and it wasn't long before Mr. Man, the dog, the cat and the small brown mouse were on their way. 

A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations

A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations.  

Mr Man & The New Red Van is now sold, thank you for your interest.


  1. Dear Barbara,

    This book looks wonderful and know children must really enjoy reading this. I remember reading books of a similar style when I was growing up and loved them.
    Many thanks for the kind visit to my blog.
    Have a happy weekend

    1. Hello Carolyn, I always enjoy visiting your lovely blog. Thanks too for your visit to mine. Barbara x

  2. I love these old children's books!!! Great childhood memories here, for me, Barbara, thank you so much for sharing! :)

    1. Thank you Linda, I'm glad you are enjoying them.

  3. I just love those faces looking out of the van! Thank you for making me have a huge smile on the dismal Saturday morning! Suzy x

    1. Hi Suzy, thanks for your lovely comment, I hope you are still smiling today! x

  4. I am smiling from ear to ear because this is yet again another moment from my past. Though I do not know this story from my childhood, the splash of primary colors reminds me of how I used to (and still do, really), react to color. Reds rush a sense of energy, blues are calming and against a simple white backdrop with line drawings, my imagination is free to fill in the rest. That has always been my favorite type of children's book. I LOVE THE TITLE: MR. MAN.....I laugh because that term is often used here in a sarcastic tone with little boys who are being naughty...teeeeheee...Barbara, never ever stop sharing your finds with us. It is important to go back to our core that I believe never "grows up" - we need to connect with it because that is what keeps us sane in this ever changing world.

    Precious. HAPPY WEEKEND! Anita

    1. Now I’m smiling from ear to ear because of your lovely comment, thank you!
      I’ve never heard Mr. Man used in that way, but I’ve often heard MISTER or “Watch It MISTER," said to small (and big) boys!
      I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend. Barbara x

  5. I particularly like Mr Man's bowler hat! I remember my dad wearing a bowler hat when he was in mufti and "working at the ministry"

    1. Hi Sue, how funny I can just picture your dad in his bowler – did he have a big red van????

  6. Hehehe, the poor mouse who could not talk. (I don't know why I find that funny. I know its throat and nose must be be burning because of the cold.) Speeding isn't right, and being sneezed up onto a tree is a funny punishment. It's odd if you think of it like this but it makes out all right in a picture book somehow. That's why I love children's stories. I like the characters and the simple illustrations. Great share, Barbara! Hope you had a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Claudine, I thought this one would amuse you. I agree the story is a little silly, but I think that is why young children would enjoy it. I can image my two little granddaughters laughing when the great big angry man charges out of his lorry and sneezes! Much nicer than any kind of violence and the birds bringing the car safely down to earth is a nice touch.
      I had a lovely weekend, thank you, hope you did too. x

  7. My husband says I sneeze so loud I'm going to give someone a heart attack, but pushing a bus up a tree? Even I can't do that? LOL

  8. I love the bright and beautiful illustrations in this book! Very cute find!

    1. Hi Diane, I love visiting antique’s markets, book fairs and so on and coming home with something like this is always the icing on the cake!

  9. This looks like a sweet book. There was something about the mouse not being able to talk that endeared the mouse to me. :) Thank goodness for all the animals helping Mr. Man get his van back on track. Amazing that a cross man can sneeze to the point of moving a bus! I home Mr. Man ended up learning that speeding doesn't pay! This one had me smiling.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I’m glad it made you smile! I’m sure Mr Man was more careful on the return journey. That little mouse had more sense than the rest of them put together!

  10. Oh, I so love these illustrations!

    1. Hi Anne Marie, I have to agree they are pretty cute! Thanks for your visit, Barbara.

  11. Replies
    1. Hi Marcia, that sums it up perfectly! Thanks for your visit.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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