June 8, 2009

Horrid Henry

Well, these are adorable books. Perfect for higher first grade readers through third grade.

These resonated with me because I have two boys, one can be a little horrid and one can be almost too perfect. And my husband and I often shake our heads and wonder how they could be so different when we are the same two people and our parenting style did not change that much between the two children.

First of all, the illustrations. I love Tony Ross because he illustrated one of my favorite picture books and probably my most favorite read aloud: Tadpole's Promise. His pictures for Horrid Henry have a real Quentin Blake feel to them which is very nostalgic to this reader. It certainly sets the right tone for these books.

And the writing. It is quick, easy to read, and funny. I wasn't familiar with Francesca Simon until I got these books, but I am delighted to make her acquaintance. She is fun! There is a (dare I say it) Roald Dahl feeling to these books (I had to say it...I dared myself!). I love how she gives all the children nicknames to fit their personality. I found myself attaching those names to kids I teach. Also Henry is a horrid child that you find yourself rooting for, which is always fun. Most books that have a horrible child either make him the bad guy or give an excuse for his horridness. Not Henry. But, I found his horridness is the kind that is just of a kid who knows what he wants and is not afraid to say it or go after it. He reminded me of several people I knew that, as children, did things they were told (whilst complaining) but as grown-ups have decided they just aren't going to do that anymore. There is a bit of maturity to Henry's horridness.

I think these will fit for boys who don't love reading and for any child who likes books that make them laugh out loud. And when my own "horrid" child wants a book to read this summer I will hand him one of these!

Become a Horrid Henry fan on facebook--I did!!

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