Why did I never read Kipper to Offspring? This 25-year-old is very appealing, and the mother of Offspring’s friends down the road swore by Mick Inkpen. If he had anything to do with a book, she’d buy it for her little darlings. This was back when we organised bookselling parties, inviting the same parents over and over again to come and buy more and more books.

Kipper did invite me to his 18th birthday bash seven years ago. But still I didn’t really read.

Now that he is 25 there have been some re-issued older picture books, and even to me it’s like meeting up with old friends again. In Kipper’s Little Friends he learns he’s not a doglet or dogling, but a puppy. There are many other little animals who are -lets and -lings, though, and very cute they are too. And it’s not only the froglets and the ducklings that make me want to hug the book.

In Kipper’s Toybox his beloved Sock Thing appears to be at risk and he moves into his toybox to make sure all his little friends are safe [making me just want to hug the whole toybox…]. The answer is mice. Two to begin with and quite a few more after a while. And less toybox.

How well I remember wanting to collect cereal box freebies, as someone who wasn’t allowed to eat the most exciting cereal. Kipper finds a beach ball with his in Kipper’s Beach Ball. It smells nice and plasticky. And it suffers from being played with, the way inflatable toys generally do. And no matter how much cereal Kipper gets, he only ever finds the other, more boring, toys to collect.

But we did have fun, both with the ball while it lasted and the live and toy friends. Hugs all round!

Mick Inkpen, Kipper


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