Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Horrid Henry

Pages: 78-90
Ages: 7-10
Publication:  Already Available

Horrid Henry, an Atlantic crossover written by Francesca Simon, is Dennis the Menace for the contemporary crowd.  Horrid Henry's antics can be reminiscent of Disney Channel's Even Stevens Louis Stevens.

I read four Horrid Henry titles including: Horrid Henry, Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy, Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine, and Horrid Henry's Stink Bomb.  Each title has 4 stories in one book and several illustrations to go with each story.

Simon weaves didactic tales of bad behavior and possible consequences into funny and true-to- life tales of childhood antics.  The plot of each story moves quickly (it has to because of the length of the story), which means each tale is action packed from the very beginning.   Horrid Henry and alliterate friends (and enemies) find themselves in situations that I remember clearly from my own childhood. 

Whether Henry is tricking his younger brother, Perfect Peter, into thinking boys will wear dresses and lipstick in the future or plotting to trick the tooth fairy into giving him money for a tooth he didn't lose, the tales will make child and adult readers alike laugh at Henry's fervor.  

The only thing I don't really like is that it seems like Simon consciously changed some of the words from British vernacular to American English vernacular.  Henry says words like, "cookie," "candy," and, "dollar coin" instead of "biscuit," "sweets," and "pound coin."   The tooth fairy story seems a little off when Henry's parents promise to give him a dollar coin, which we have, but don't generally use.  Why not have Henry ask for a "Quid?"  Sure, some of the words don't "translate," but a glossary could be included.  I LOVED glossaries for "different languages" when I was a child.

In all, the series was enjoyable to read and will interest readers of a wide variety.  Horrid Henry was fun, fast, and easy to relate to.  

Rating: 4 Pages   


1 comment:

  1. I'm wondering if the US publisher made the changes? I know it happened for an Australian book I reviewed, where the publisher didn't think US people would like the character names. I tend to think readers in the US would enjoy some "special" words too.