Thursday, June 25, 2009

Horrid Henry Series - Review and Book Giveaway

"Henry was horrid. Everyone said so, even his mother. Henry threw food, Henry grabbed, Henry pushed and shoved and pinched. Even his teddy bear, Mr. Kill, avoided him when possible." - Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon

My brother and I had plenty of naughty moments growing up. We pretended to eat our vitamins and when no one was watching we hid them under the couch. We made up our very own outdoor game, a contest of sorts to see who could throw hunks of wet, muddy dirt the highest onto the side of the house (got into a lot of trouble for that one). We played barbershop and cut off chunks of our hair. Yes, like most children were we full of mischief and pranks, learning our boundaries.

Horrid Henry, the main character in Francesca Simon's book series, is the king of bad behavior. When you think of the naughty kid list of characters, for instance Dennis the Menace, Pippi Longstocking, Bart Simpson, Max from Where the Wild Things Are -- Horrid Henry ranks right up there. And kids love him. Kids like to read about silly, off the wall, absurd characters, the crazier the better. Add some sibling rivalry, boring parents and annoying friends to the mix and you've got a fun read. Just how horrid is Horrid Henry? Well, he picks on his little brother (aptly named "Perfect Peter"), ruins all family camping and hiking trips and pulls plenty of other mischievous stunts much to the dismay of his parents and teachers. He is one out of control child.

Hugely popular and originally published in the UK, the Horrid Henry series is new to America this year. Each book is actually a collection of 4 different short stories, perfect for those with short attention spans and reluctant readers. As far as children's books go, they fit right between early readers and chapter books. Titles currently available in the U.S. include the following four books:

Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross. Sourcebooks (April 2009); 112 pages; ISBN 9781402217753; paperback; Ages 5-10
* Horrid Henry's Perfect Day
* Horrid Henry's Dance Class
* Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret
* Horrid Henry's Holiday

Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine by Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross. Sourcebooks (April 2009); 112 pages; ISBN 9781402217807; paperback; Ages 5-10
* Horrid Henry's Hike
* Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine
* Perfect Peter's Revenge
* Horrid Henry Dines at Restaurant Le Posh

Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb by Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross. Sourcebooks (April 2009); 112 pages; ISBN 9781402217791; paperback; Ages 5-10
* Horrid Henry Reads a Book
* Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb
* Horrid Henry's School Project
* Horrid Henry Has a Sleepover

Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy by Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross. Sourcebooks (April 2009); 112 pages; ISBN 9781402222757; paperback; Ages 5-10
* Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy
* Horrid Henry's Wedding
* Moody Margaret Moves In
* Horrid Henry's New Teacher

Two more books are scheduled for release in July: Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse and Horrid Henry and the Soccer Fiend

As a participant in the Horrid Henry blog tour, Sourcebooks sent me the first four titles for review. When I first started reading the books, I thought that each story might have a sort of lesson, that Harry would be checked in some way. No lessons here; he just is downright naughty. Though sometimes the joke is turned on him, and those particular stories are my favorite. For instance, the tooth fairy doesn't fall for his sneaky switch, a sleepover doesn't go his way. In "Horrid Henry Reads a Book", Henry pretends to read and report on a ton of books so that he can win a prize to an adventure park and learns the hard way that some things aren't as they seem. "Horrid Henry Dines at Restaurant Le Posh" made me chuckle with references to tripe and escargots. The illustrations by Tony Ross are right on the mark, comically depicting pointy-nosed adults and disobedient children.

Some parents may be understandably put off by the antics of Harry. When questioned about the rebelliousness of her main character, in an interview with Simon replied that "We all want to kick against the traces, but Henry is naughty so you don't have to be." I think most children will realize that they shouldn't act as Harry does, but it is still fun to do a little imagining.

Related links:
Sourcebooks Horrid Henry Website
Francesca Simon - Author Website
Horrid Henry - Official UK Website
Horrid Henry - Facebook
Horrid Henry Teacher’s Guides
Download the Horrid Henry Activity Book
Try the Horrid Henry Maze Game
Glop Recipe Activity

Win a copy! Sourcebooks has kindly offered to give away two full sets of the Horrid Henry series (4 books) as the first prize (2 winners), and three second place winners will receive a copy of Horrid Henry.

The characters in the Horrid Henry books have alliterative adjective names that describe them (Perfect Peter, Moody Margaret, Prissy Polly, Rude Ralph, Beefy Bert, Greedy Graham and my favorite, Boudicca Battle-Axe). To enter, think of a name for a Horrid Henry character you'd like to see in the series, and leave it in the comment section.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US and Canada only
• Contest ends on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.


Unknown said...

Hmm, an alliterative character name... maybe Skeevy Stevie.

These look like good reads, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

The Allen Family said...

Meanie Martha.

I'd sure love to win these books! My boys would love them!!

The Allen Family said...

Follow on twitter and tweeted.

Becky W. said...

How about Scary Scott, or Fraidy Fred?

This sounds like a wonderful series to read with my kiddos!

Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a follower!

kysmom02 AT hotmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

How about Crabby Caitlin?

Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I follow your blog on Google Reader.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh, these look like a lot of fun. Thanks for holding the giveaway for us, and to Sourcebooks too of course. :-)

Let's see...

Crazy Cathy

Loud Lou

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Anonymous said...

Ah, Dizzy Lizzy and Sappy Sam are two I can think of. Wow, this series would be so great to have for my two nephews. They would enoy them so much. Actually, so would I. I still love a lot of books for younger readers. These make me think of the Judy Blume series as well.


Sheila DeChantal said...

Ok this one sounds like fun!

Please include me in the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I love the whole concept behind Horrid Harry. As for a character, how about Zippy Zack.

cabadov (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

you always seem to have great reviews of kid literature, so I'm now subscribing to your feed through my google reader :-)

Anonymous said...

just tweeted about your review:

cabadov (at) hotmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

Oh how my kiddos need to hear these books.

How about the names "Sassy Sydnie" or "Bossy Brice"?

Unknown said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted.

Valorie said...

How about Angry Alfred?

And I subscribe through RSS.


Unknown said...

I pick Henry. I know my grandson and 3 year old daughter would like these books. Thanks.

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

blogged (right now)

gahome2mom at gmail dot

Unknown said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


Gwendolyn B. said...

I soooooo want these books for my nephew! Thanks for the chance to win them!

My suggested name is "Jokin' Joe."

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

. . . and, I'm a Follower in Google Reader.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I follow you on Twitter and here's my tweet:

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Nickolay said...

I like Nervous Ned or anxious Allie


max said...

I enjoyed reviewing these books too.

Max Elliot Anderson
Books For Boys Blog

Cindy B.of Montana said...

I'd like to read about Pouty Paul! I'll be looking for these books, my grandson(6)would love them. Last summer he introduced me to "No, David!" and we read them over and over.

Cindy B.of Montana said...

follow you(sendtocindy) and tweeted.

ossmcalc said...

How about Screaming Sarina?

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I subscribe via email.

Thank you,


judybrittle said...

I'd like to see Nasty Nick. I'm sure him and Henry would make really bad friends. Thank you!

judybrittle said...

I follow on Twitter and tweeted

Anonymous said...

following on twitter and I tweeted!

Stephanie said...

I'll go with Sassy Sally.

These books sound like they'd be right up my son's alley!

Stephanie said...

I'm following on twitter as stlyhu and tweeted here:

Anonymous said...

I would add halitosis herb.

Thanks for the chance to win!!

bsyb100 at gmail dot com

Ellie Wright said...

Grubby Greg sounds like a fun name.
Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

1993wel said...

How about Silly Sally? Or Smelly Smedley? Or Talkative Trevor? These books sound great! I bet my 6-year-old would love them!

Renee G said...

I'd like to see Whiney Winnie in the books.

Renee G said...

I'd like to see Whiney Winnie in the books.

jmintuck said...

Good. THESE are the books I like to read. Something to cause me to laugh until I am absolutely CRYING from laughter.

I dunno if I would even attempt to show my sister, who is having a baby in Dec. this sort of material. She'd get frightened. I DON'T wanna give HER kids any ideas. So it would def. stay in MY bookshelf.

devonm @ sasktel dot NET

jmintuck said...

I have followed you on Twitter


devonm @ sasktel DOT NET

Luvdaylilies said...

Please enter me in your giveaway!
Thanks for a SUPER giveaway=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

ChristyJan said...

Just-a-minute Janet

What a Horridly good giveaway!


Shawna L. said...

Lets see a about Kenna Bo-benna bubble-head!! Thats the name of my daughter Kenna :o)
Thanks for the giveaway sign me up I LOVE all your books.
I subscribe to you, I follow you, and I Goggle Read you.
Shawna Lewis

Misusedinnocence said...

My son would be thrilled if I won this. :)

Jennifer said...

How about Sneaky Steve or Rebellious Ricky! My son would love to read these books!

jls_wss2003 at yahoo dot com

A Reader said...

How about Lyin' Lee?

Thanks for the giveaway!