Sunday, June 14, 2009

Great laughs in an early chapter book - Horrid Henry series (and a free giveaway!)

When kids are learning to read chapter books, it's important that there are immediate rewards. They have to understand the story, the characters, the situation. But laughter is the best reward of all. Horrid Henry, by Francesca Simon, is a new series in the US that is sure to find a good following among 1st and 2nd graders who want to move up to chapter books. Would you like a free book? See the contest at the end of this post!
Horrid Henry
written by Francesca Simon
illustrated by Tony Ross
IL: Sourcebook, 2009.
ages 6 - 8
Henry is an ornery little boy - he's always causing trouble, and his parents expect him to. In fact, his brother is nicknamed Perfect Peter. Until one day, Henry decides that he's the one who should be perfect. Peter can't stand this, and starts acting out in all sorts of ways. Eventually, he throws his dinner at Henry (who naturally ducks), and the dinner lands straight on their mother's face! This is the first chapter in Horrid Henry, and it certainly made me laugh.

The Horrid Henry chapter books are broken into four short chapters that pretty much stand alone. Each set of pages has a small illustration that adds to the laughs and keeps the readers connected to the silly situations of the stories. This will definitely appeal to reluctant readers.

While I wasn't immediately taken with this mischievous boy, every child I've shown it to has immediately wanted to read it. That's a pretty good result. This will appeal to kids who like naughty stories, who like mischief, and who want a quick read. If they zoom through this first book, there are more: Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb, Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy, and Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine.

To celebrate summer reading, I have four Horrid Henry books to give away, thanks to the kindness of the publisher Sourcebooks. If you would like a Horrid Henry book for your little mischief maker, leave a comment or send me an email. In your comment, let me know a favorite funny book that your kids enjoy reading. If you are or become a follower, let me know and that counts as an extra entry! Contest ends on Monday, June 22nd. Remember to leave your email address, please!

**UPDATE: GIVEAWAY EXTENDED to Sunday, June 28th! For an extra entry, follow Great Kid Books through email updates, Facebook, or RSS feed. Let me know either through email or the comment page.

To read a chapter, see this excerpt from Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy.
To read other reviews, see:
The Happy Nappy Bookseller
The Reading Tub

Find Horrid Henry at your local independent bookstore, Amazon, or public libraries.

36 comments:

  1. One of my grandson's favorite funny books is There's a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems. I think he would like these Horrid Henry books.

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  2. My kindergarten kids really get into chapter books at the end of the year. I had a Horrid Henry excert that they loved!!

    They love all of the silly Robert Munsch books too!

    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

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  3. Thanks, Janet - We love the Elephant and Piggie books too - full of laughs! Please leave your email address.

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  4. MJ, I'm glad your kindergarten kids liked the excerpt of Horrid Henry - the full books are definitely fun.

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  5. Here's an email that I wanted to share with some good recommendations:

    Hi Mary Ann: I will send it on to Marina’s classmates, thanks so much. We are reading it currently, and she is loving it—all her elements are present! She is also enjoying the Clementine series, the Humphrey series, and the latest Ivy and Bean. I also notice that Annie Barrows has a new kids novel that Molly might enjoy—“Magic Half”, I believe is the title.

    susie

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  6. Marcilie emailed me to say she'd love a copy. Her kids love funny books.

    Her son, entering 4th grade, loved the "My Weird school" series, as well as "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." He and his sister(entering 2nd grade) enjoy many humorous Roald Dahl books especially "the BFG"

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  7. Hi Mary Ann,

    We'd love to win a free copy of the Horrid Hery book. My daughter, Regan, is a rising 2nd grader at RDS and has become a voracious reader in the last several weeks. We went to D.C. for 5 days last week and in that time she read (1) Junie B. Jones 1st Grader, Cheater Pants, (2) Junie B. Jones 1st Grader Boss of Lunch, (3) Beck and the Great Berry Battle and started but did not yet finish (4) The Dragon of Blueland! Whew! At that pace, it will be difficult to keep up. Thanks for your great blog.

    Alicia Fenrick
    aliciafenrick@comcast.net

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  8. Mary Ann-

    Do you still have copies available? My daughter Arai is on the silly side and I think she would like this.

    Riley

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  9. My daughter loves the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary.

    Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed!

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  10. One of my fav. funny books is Parts by Tedd Arnold

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  11. Jean-Marie MaierJune 22, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    Great review. Makes me want to check for it in our library right now. My daughter will be entering kindergarten in the fall. She's a big Elephant and Piggie fan. And we can always get a good laugh out of Junie B. Jones! This is my first visit to your website (via Mike McQueen at gettingboystoread.com)and I just added you to my google reader. I look forward to reading more of your reviews. Do you twitter?
    Jean-Marie
    mom (at) katemaier.com

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  12. Sounds like a wonderful story for my two boys to share. I just added you to my blog follow. I am a high school web design teacher and doing summer reading posts on my blog too. My blog address is Techy Mom's Blog and I am xelavee on twitter. Thanks for posting and offering the books.

    Best of luck on your giveaway,
    -Alex

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  13. Jean-Marie, thanks! We also looooove Elephant and Piggie. Have you read the new one about throwing the ball? Classic. You can find me on Twitter at MaryAnnScheuer. Thanks for adding me to your RSS feed - tell your friends!

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  14. My 9yr old son generally sticks with the Ripley's Believe It Or Not & Guiness World Record books but he's found numerous gross joke books that he loves and his 3rd grade teacher turned him on to a poetry book called "Falling Up". He also loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and Captain Underpants. I've just gotten some Henry Zipzer books from the library that were recommended to us so we'll see how it likes those. The Horrid Henry books sound right up his alley! I've "friended" you on facebook and follow the comments there as well.

    Thanks,
    Lynette ladyfitz90@hotmail.com

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  15. You should hear my husband ready the Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! We literally roll on the floor laughing! My 6 year old son also loves the Tiny Titans comic books. They are a lot like the Teen Titans cartoon. He loves them. It's the one thing he will let his 9 year old sister read to him. And when my husband reads them outloud, we all stop what we're doing just to hear all of the voices. Of course, my daughter loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series last year as well.

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  16. I am always seeking new books for my son. He reads so quickly and according to that recent Harvard study, kids who are 4+ at-level books over summer do better in school the following year. So bring on the BOOKS! :-) (I do RSS feed to your blog and follow you on twitter)

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  17. Your young boys will love "Crazy Hair Day" by Barney Saltzberg. About a kid who does his hair all rolled, sprayed, dipped and dyed for Crazy Hair Day only to discover when he gets to school that..well, Crazy Hair Day is NEXT week.


    jcamp2020@aol.com

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  18. Just joined as a follower..you have some great recommendations here. I am a grandmother to four kids, ages 5 and under.

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  19. Just subscribed to your RSS feed (not sure how i missed your wonderful blog but after reading your backlog of postings you definitely got yourself another dedicated follower. My second graders have all kinds of favorite funny reads but I think the one that gets reread the most is Remy Charlip's Fortunately.

    Thanks!

    Eric Carpenter
    erccarp@gmail.com

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  20. I would love to have one of these books. My 5-year-old granddaughter loves "Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley.

    Linda J. Shaw
    Library Manager
    Celina Public Library
    Celina, TX 75009
    lshaw@celina-tx.gov

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  21. I am always looking for great books for my 7 year old. Right now we are reading a series about a boy named Wiglaf who is attending Dragon Slayers Academy. They are fun and funny books. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  22. I am following your blog and subscribed now, great blog glad I found it.

    madonnacramer@msn.com

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  23. I'm defintely going to have to get ahold of Horrid Henry. I know my boys would love him.

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  24. My children enjoy reading "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". I follow you on Facebook and Twitter and I have subscribe through google reader. We would love to have these books in our library!

    faithfulgirl4[at]gmail[dot]com

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  25. My children enjoy reading "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". I follow you on Facebook and Twitter and I have subscribe through google reader. We would love to have these books in our library!

    faithfulgirl4[at]gmail[dot]com

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  26. Oh, I would love to be entered for these books. A funny, fun book was Amelia Bedelia...though you have to be a bit older to understand the meanings.

    -Lauren

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  27. I'm now a follower.

    -Lauren

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  28. My little Solomon loves captain underpants books, he reads them aloud to me and cracks up constantly... ;)

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

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  29. I love the idea behind these books. My kids have recently discovered Frannie K Stein (by Jim Benten). Very funny books.

    cabadov (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  30. I've been seeing good things about this new series. I'd lov to share it with my kiddos!

    We love Pinkalicious in our house!

    kysmom02 AT hotmail DOT com

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  31. my son liked captain underpants

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  32. I'm following ruthjoec at aoldotcom

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  33. My nephews also really like the "Elephant and Piggie" books.
    This looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

    I'm also a new follower of your blog.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
    jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

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  34. My kids would love this -- they find the Black Lagoon books very funny!

    I am a follower.

    marielay@gmail.com

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  35. Thank you everyone for the great interest in Horrid Henry. The four winners are: Jean Marie, Eric Carpenter, Julie J and Lauren at Shooting Stars. Please email me your address and I'll get it in the post ASAP.

    This is a great, inexpensive series - it would make a great summer reading, so do check it out! Thank you everyone for your interest! Mary Ann

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  36. Yay! I'm so excited! Can't wait to share Horrid Henry with my kids! Thanks Mary Ann!

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