Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review: A Handful of Horrid Henry

A Fair Trade Book

Title: A Handful of Horrid Henry
        
Author: Francesca Simon

Author's web page: http://www.francescasimon.com/about/
        
Date: 2000
        
Publisher: Orion
        
ISBN: 1-85881-847-8
        
Length: 288 pages
        
Illustrations: cartoons, many full-page, by Tony Ross
        
Quote: “Henry threw food, Henry snatched, Henry pushed and shoved and pinched. Even his teddy avoided him when possible.”
        
Henry is such an annoying child that even when he offers to help adults routinely tell him, “Don’t be horrid, Henry,” on the assumption that he “will just make a mess.” His school friends, if one can call them friends, have names like Perfect Peter, Moody Margaret, and Pimply Paul. He’s not as believable as Ramona the Pest, but he’s funny in the same general way, and like Ramona he sometimes comes out ahead.
        
The “Handful” of Henry stories is an omnibus reprint of three previous picture books. Written by a Californian in London, these books apparently went through several reprints in Britain before being brought together under one cover. There are sequels...it's actually possible to buy eighteen picture books bound as a set of six full-sized books. (Click here.)

Most likely to amuse children between ages four and eight, A Handful of Horrid Henry is written on a second or third grade reading level, with large clear type and lots of pictures.

This series, or part of it, can also be read bilingually: click here to see which volumes are currently available in Spanish. (In Spanish the kid characters' names rhyme...Pablo Diablo and so on.) 

A Handful of Horrid Henry has been a bestseller, "everywhere but in the U.S." the Guardian once claimed, so if you buy it here you pay $5 for the book + $5 for shipping, and we mail Francesca Simon $1. If you buy A Handful of Horrid Henry, Pablo Diablo, Pablo Diablo y el Club Secreto, and Pablo Diablo y el Dinero here, all at once so we can ship them in one package, you pay $5 for the book that's widely available in the U.S., $10 for each of the three that are more expensive, and $5 for shipping (that's $40 altogether), and we mail Francesca Simon $5.50, or 10% of the $55 you would have paid for those four items shipped separately.