REVIEW: #61 Horrid Henry’s Underpants
Author: Francesca Simon
Pages: 112 [Rating:3.5]
Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)
Horrid Henry makes a deal with his parents in return for eating his veggies; accidentally wears girls’ underwear to school; tries to prove he is sicker than his brother; and writes the meanest thank-you cards ever (and makes money on it too).
Francesca Simon is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors. She is the only American to have ever won the Galaxy Book Award, and her creation, Horrid Henry, is the #1 bestselling chapter book series in the UK—with a hit TV show and over fifteen million copies sold! Each book contains four easy-to-read stories and hilarious illustrations by the one and only Tony Ross, so even the most reluctant of readers won’t be able to resist Henry’s amazing talent for trouble!
Rarely do I ever see a major protagonist who is also an antagonist .. Henry is mean, a bully, and generally unlikeable. In fact, Henry is just absolutely horrid (har, har).
Basically Henry has a pretty normal family – a younger brother named Peter (dubbed “Perfect Peter”) and two loving parents who only want what is best for him. Somehow, though – Henry is all about being just plain nasty and manipulative (a true sociopath in the making!) (Anyone want to put dibs on an adult version titled “Homicidal Henry”?)
The book is split into a few stories, all of which Henry is trying to accomplish some self-absorbed selfish task. In the first story, his family is trying to coerce him into eating his vegetables but all Henry wants is junk food, junk food, junk food. They agree that if he eats his vegetables every day for 5 days, they will take him to his favorite fast food restaurant. Henry agrees – but that doesn’t mean he’s going to give in easy to his promise.
Horrid Henry has humerous bits – and I think it’s an entertaining read for it’s age group (9-12) though I think kids as young as 5 would really enjoy this type of book. I think it would allow children, through reading, to live out their fantasies as being “tricky”. I do encourage parents to, after their children have read the stories, to discuss it with each other. After all, we wouldn’t want Henry to suddenly become a hero.