Nov 24, 2009

Tween Tuesday: Henry Huggins

After seeing the new preview for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and seeing how darling the actor who plays Percy is, I decided to write this week's Tween Tuesday about my first literary crush, Henry Huggins.

I am quite sure that when I was first introduced to Beverly Cleary's characters it was in the form of Ramona. But, being the avid little reader I was I know I read all of her books in grade school. I think that my crush on Henry started (like Ramona's) in Ramona the Pest when he trudged into the mud and rescued her and her new red boots when she got stuck. I mean, any older boy who would go into the mud to rescue a kindergartener is totally crushworthy!

Because I loved these books so much and wanted to share them with my own sons I decided to read Henry Huggins aloud. But, with our crazy schedules and different bedtimes it was very slow going. Then I discovered the audio versions of these books, masterfully read by Neil Patrick Harris (listen to a sample here)(he does such a good job that after we finished the Henry books and moved onto the Ramona books we were very disappointed with Stockard Channing's narration. Even though she does a great job, she just wasn't the same. Neil's version of Ramona is just hysterical).

My sons loved the books. My older son (in fifth grade at the time) even pointed out that although these books are "old" things that happen to Henry could and do still happen today. And when we went to Portland for spring break last year we visited the Beverly Cleary tribute garden and found Klickitat Street.

I will also acknowledge that my crush was probably helped along with Louis Darling's illustrations of Henry in the original versions of the books.

So, nowadays, in my library I recommend thses books to open minded boys (how many of those are there?) and they are not disappointed. Good books, and a very good first crush for me!


  1. I loved the Ramona books, but never read Henry Huggins-now I'll have to go back and read them. We don't have the NPH audiobooks at my library-so sad! I would love those!

  2. I love Ramona and have re-read those to myself and my daughters. I read Henry Huggins when I was in elementary school, but haven't re-read them....maybe I should go dig them out. Thanks for the suggestion.