Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross

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Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross

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Buy Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: Horrid Henry in full colour and an easy to read format for younger readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: November 2011
Publisher: Orion
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444001105

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Horrid Henry is one of those characters that parents either love or hate. Some parents feel Henry sets a very bad example - and at times he does, but what child doesn't love a bad example? Other parents love Henry simply because their children love him. Horrid Henry Books not only help children learn to read, they encourage them to read for pleasure, and children who read for pleasure invariably become better readers.

Horrid Henry's Christmas Play is one of our favourite stories in a huge collection of Horrid Henry. It just wouldn't be Christmas time without reading this story. If you thought nativity plays were dull - wait until you read this. In fact I think a few schools should consider adapting this for their own nativity plays. Henry of course knows he was born to be a star. But while Perfect Peter and Moody Margaret end up with the play's starring roles - Henry ends up with just one line. So what's a boy to do? If the boy is Horrid Henry then the answer is improvise. This is a story where being naughty pays off, but it is so much fun, it's easy to put it down to initiative as well. One thing you have to give Henry - he doesn't wait for the world to go his way. He makes things happen - whatever the consequences. My children both loved Horrid Henry's creativity in this - and of course the reactions of the adults.

Horrid Henry is many boy's first foray into chapter books. The books have just the right amount of humour and boy appeal to make boys want to read, combined with an easy to read vocabulary to help them as they make the first steps into a new medium. My oldest son felt overwhelmed by chapter books before Horrid Henry, but found Horrid Henry's Early Readers a breeze. When I pointed out to him that these are the exact same text, word for word, as the Horrid Henry chapter books - he realised he could do it and a confident reader was born.

Horrid Henry's Early Readers each have only one story, as opposed to four stories in the Horrid Henry chapter books, which have the exact same number of pages. The print is only slightly larger, but these books have far more illustrations, and instead of the simple black and white drawings of the chapter books, these are in full colour. The books also have more white space, which some parents may see as a bad thing, but this actually makes a huge difference to children learning to read. The extra space between lines, short paragraphs and frequent chapter breaks represent huge advancements in our knowledge of how children learn to read. Although the vocabulary is the exact same, these books really are easier to read.

I have one child who is barely reading phonetic primers and another who is now a very confident reader. Neither are really at the right stage to benefit from the easy to read format of this book at the moment. However, I continue to buy these as opposed to the longer chapter books when possible for one simple reason. In addition to being easier to read, they are more fun. I read this out loud to my five year old, and he really appreciated the additional illustrations as well as the fact they are in colour. While my oldest son no longer finds any of the Horrid Henry books a challenge, he does still enjoy them and he has often stated that he prefers these because the pictures are nicer. He also prefers the luxurious thick smooth pages, which are more pleasant to hold and prevent any text or illustration showing through from the other side. This story is taken from Horrid Henry's Christmas Cracker, but even if you already own this ( as I do) Horrid Henry's Christmas Play is still worth considering. It is especially worthwhile if your child is struggling with the longer books, but even if this is not the case, it is worth buying just because it makes Horrid Henry even more fun.

If this book appeals then you might also like to look at:

Horrid Henry's Royal Riot

Horrid Henry's Thank You Letter

Buy Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Horrid Henry's Christmas Play ( Horrid Henry Early Reader) by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon.com.

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