Wednesday, 12 January 2011

BOOKS - "Horrid Henry" Series

The copy we borrowed had different artwork on the cover.
Alisdair was watching a British television show from CITV (Childrens' ITV) and when he went to their website, he found a "Horrid Henry" game.  From there, he learned there is a UK television series about this character, as well as several books detailing the adventures of "Horrid Henry."  Alisdair asked me to check the inter-library loan catalogue to see if any of these books were available.  We found several listings and ordered the initial book, which arrived yesterday.  We read the entire four chapter book through in just one sitting and immediately ordered two more in the series from the library. (The text was printed in a large font and there were many pen and ink, black and white drawings scattered throughout.)  Of course, Horrid Henry was especially appealing to Alisdair because it is British -- and they use the spelling "Mum" and use British words like "jumper" for "sweater."

Horrid Henry has a brother -- Perfect Peter.  He also has a neighbour, Moody Margaret.  Perhaps the series is so popular because we can all see ourselves (or our children) in the triumphs and failures of Horrid Henry.

Henry's tale, by author Francesca Simon, begins like this:

"Henry was horrid.  Everyone said so, even his mother.  Henry threw food, Henry snatched, Henry pushed and shoved and pinched.  Even his teddy avoided him when possible.  His parents despaired.  'What are we going to do about that horrid boy?' sighed Mum.  'How did two people as nice as us have such a horrid child?' sighed Dad.  When Horrid Henry's parents took Henry to school they walked behind him and pretended he was not theirs.  Children pointed at Henry and whispered to their parents, 'That's Horrid Henry.'  'He's the boy who threw my jacket in the mud.'  'He's the boy who squashed Billy's beetle.'  'He's the boy who . . . ' Fill in whatever terrible deed you like.  Horrid Henry was sure to have done it." 

Upon further investigation, we located Horrid Henry's website.  It offers more information about the various books, jokes, downloads and other fun activities for children.

Alisdair says:

Henry, who is also known as “Horrid Henry” is a hit in the UK and I can see why! He even has an iphone app (you are special if you have one about you) available from iTunes. The advertising says it makes rude noises (like burps) so don't get your child an iphone, or you might be bugged by this!  The books have easy text, that is simple to understand and is funny.  They are “horrible” (that’s awesome in Horrid Henry’s language!) I would recommend this book to boys who like to hear stories about boys that are bad. Henry has a brother “Perfect Peter”.  To learn more about Henry and his family click here.  (This is a different website than the link shown above.)

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