by Francesca Simon; Tony Ross Book : Elementary and junior high school : Fiction
good laughs for early chapter book readers   (2009-06-15)
When kids are learning to read chapter books, it's important that there are immediate rewards. They have to understand the story, the characters, the situation. But laughter is the best reward of all. Horrid Henry is a new series in the US that is sure to find a good following among 1st and 2nd graders who want to move up to chapter books.
Henry is an ornery little boy - he's always causing trouble, and his parents expect him to. In fact, his brother is nicknamed Perfect Peter. Until one day, Henry decides that he's the one who should be perfect. Peter can't stand this, and starts acting out in all sorts of ways. Eventually, he throws his dinner at Henry (who naturally ducks), and the dinner lands straight on their mother's face! This is the first chapter in Horrid Henry, and it certainly made me laugh.
The Horrid Henry chapter books are broken into four short chapters that pretty much stand alone. Each set of pages has a small illustration that adds to the laughs and keeps the readers connected to the silly situations of the stories. This will definitely appeal to reluctant readers.
While I wasn't immediately taken with this mischievous boy, every child I've shown it to has immediately wanted to read it. That's a pretty good result. This will appeal to kids who like naughty stories, who like mischief, and who want a quick read. If they zoom through this first book, there are more in the series.
For more reviews, see my blog: Great Kid Books: http://greatkidbooks.blogspot.com
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