Horrid Henry and the Comfy Black Chair by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross
|Horrid Henry and the Comfy Black Chair by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Henry and Peter have a brotherly squabble in this book that’s perfect for a first home library of books to read by yourself.|
|Buy? Yes.||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 80||Date: April 2015|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Horrid Henry just can’t catch a break. Perfect Peter has been interfering with his weekend morning television watching, but mum and dad are clear it’s first come first served. So Horrid Henry hatches a plan to get up a bit earlier than usual and be the first one downstairs, gaining full uninterrupted access to the remote control in the process. It seems like Perfect Peter has the same idea, though, and however early Henry gets up, Peter’s already down there, beating him to it. Week after week he’s thwarted. Can he pull out a signature, and horrid, trick to finally get his own way?
This is a book without much in the way of a story – it’s just about trying to get up earlier than your brother so you can have it your way, and this is simply repeated for a number of weeks. It’s surprising, then, how entertaining such a mundane act can be. You end up rooting for Henry as despite his best intentions, Peter keeps outwitting him. And it’s really not fair. They could at least take turns (though if the tables were turned, you just know Henry would never give Peter a look in)
Horrid Henry books weren’t part of my circulation of library reads as a kid, but discovering them as an adult (with the help of a 6 year old) I’m constantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying them. The stories are really well done, not too dumbed down but not so challenging those reading on their own will be put off. They definitely have a grown up feel though, both in length and size, and are a far cry from babyish picture books (though that’s not to say the illustrations are an unwanted extra, for they really bring Horrid Henry and co to life).
For every parent who shudders that their child might become horrid like Henry, I would offer up wimpy Peter as an alternative. Surely you’d rather have spunky over sappy? Because really, Horrid Henry is naughty but not evil. He’s just your typical little boy, and his relationship with Peter smacks of an authentic sibling set up. The books have an old fashioned feel to them at times, and this one is no exception, but that is no bad thing for it helps to take the edge off the horridness. You read these books and find them funny because Henry does push the boundaries, but you still recognise he’s a bit naughtier than he should be, and you learn from his mistakes rather than revering him as a role model. In other words, you give live vicariously through his badly behaved adventures without having to cross that line yourself.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. I know a little boy who will be asking to go to bed early (unheard of!) so he can get cracking on this latest adventure.
George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl is also bound to appeal to this age group, though they might require more support with reading it so it would make a great bedtime story to share together.
You can read more book reviews or buy Horrid Henry and the Comfy Black Chair by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Horrid Henry and the Comfy Black Chair by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross at Amazon.com.
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