Book Review: Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon

Horrid Henry

I don’t usually review books for the not-quite-ready-for-bookclub age group, but I was presented with the opportunity to read three of the new Horrid Henry books and give them away to a reader. I’ve been hearing about how popular Henry is with young readers, and now that I’ve read a couple of titles myself I can see why. Henry is always getting into trouble, and he always learns something from his antics. It’s not always something positive, but he always learns something.

I read Horrid Henry’s Underpants, Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter, and Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse. I know my daughter, Catherine, would have loved these when she was younger. I read the whole Captain Underpants series to her over and over again, and she liked the Ramona books too. Of course, Ramona was often a pest by accident, when Horrid Henry seems to know exactly what he’s doing, but it’s still lots of fun.

If you would like to win a copy of the three books I read (winner chosen on 10/19/2009), please leave a comment about your favorite early readers. You have the whole weekend to comment. I’ll choose a winner (entrants from the U.S. and Canada only please) at 5 p.m. Pacific time and mail out your books soon there after. Here’s my official review.

Horrid Henry is always trying to get out of things: going to school, eating vegetables, writing thank you notes for gifts, a baby’s baptism… He also spends a lot of energy coming up with schemes that he thinks will help him get his way. And often he’s pitted against his younger brother, Perfect Peter, who is everything a parent could love in a child that Henry is not.

The series of books that has Horrid Henry trying out one scheme after another is really funny for beginning readers. Three new additions have been added to the series this fall: Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse, Horrid Henry’s Underpants, and Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter.

Each book has four stories all featuring Henry living down to expectations in some way. Many times his plotting is found out and foiled by parents and teachers, but sometimes his elaborate plans to get his way at the expense of others actually succeed. Kids will love to see how he gets in and out of his scrapes with authority.

The Horrid Henry books by Francesca Simon has delighted nearly 15 million young readers in 27 languages since the series started. Younger siblings of mother-daughter book club members are sure to be happy with these new additions.

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