Adam's kind gesture last year came when he heard from a family friend in the Isle of Man, Vicky Crellin, that the theme for Litfest's annual Family Day was the Mr Men and Little Miss books. Adam drew an illustration of Mr Isle of Man and sent it to Vicky - and it caught the attention of local media, who gave Mr Isle of Man widespread coverage.
The raffle is being launched at the Royal Agricultural Show this weekend and will run until Manx Litfest 2018, when the winning ticket will be drawn at this year's Family Day on Saturday, September 29.
Tickets are £5 each, with just 1,000 being printed, and will be on sale from the Family Library in Westmoreland Road, Douglas, the Mobile Library, Bridge Bookshop (in Ramsey and Port Erin), Lexicon Bookshop and Waterstones (both Douglas). At the Royal Show, tickets can be purchased from the Bridge Bookshop/Manx Litfest stall.
Roger Hargreaves' first Mr Men book was published in 1971 and the series has sold more than 100 million books around the world. When Roger died in 1988, Adam began writing and illustrating new Mr Men and Little Miss stories and there are now more than 85 Mr Men and Little Miss characters.
Manx Litfest Festival Director John Quirk said:
Mr Isle of Man - who of course has three legs - isn't an official Mr Men character and, as far as we know, there are sadly no plans for a book. However, the illustration was such a lovely gesture from Adam and we were thrilled at the publicity it generated for our festival last year. Mr Isle of Man really caught everyone's imagination. We thought raffling him off would ensure he finds a loving home - and also raise funds for the Family Library, with whom we have developed a very close relationship over the last six years.
In addition to the original Mr Isle of Man, the winner of the raffle will also receive a set of Mr Men books, kindly donated by Bridge Bookshop, partner bookseller for Manx Litfest.
Ten prints of the original Mr Isle of Man were made, with framed prints donated to Rebecca House Children's Hospice, the Children's Ward at Noble's Hospital, Scoill Phurt Le Moirrey and the Family Library for displaying. Two runners-up in the raffle will receive one of these prints, along with a set of Mr Men books (donated by Bridge Bookshop).
Mary Cousins, Librarian in Charge at the Family Library, said:
As you can imagine I’ve had a whole career watching parents and children fall in love with Mr Men and Little Miss and understand the continuing love and appeal of these characters. When Manx Litfest suggested this fundraising raffle everyone here was thrilled to be part of such a wonderful event. Some lucky person will win a totally unique illustration by one of the major names in children’s literature. It really is an incredible opportunity.
We were overwhelmed when Adam agreed to create a Mr Isle of Man and he was delighted with the amount of attention that it generated for Manx Litfest. Mr Isle of Man is a wonderful character and the winner will be lucky to have a unique character designed especially for the event and our Island.
The Family Library is a registered charity (#1211) and a long-established service that reaches all ages and every corner of the Island community.
Manx Litfest is a registered charity (#1100) and the seventh annual festival runs from Tuesday, September 25 through to Sunday, September 30.