Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, and here is my first contribution to the cause!
I've been devouring MG books lately. Have I ever mentioned that I love libraries? That libraries are a wonderful, amazing gift for all? Well, they are. Thanks to the South Orange Public Library, I came home last week with a giant stack of awesome MG from the past 20 years, including Horrid Henry, the debut of Francesca Simon's classic chapter book series from 1994.
Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Horrid Henry cover promises "4 laugh out loud stories," but still, I was surprised when I totally LOL-ed at Henry's capers. My favorite of the four is the first story, "Horrid Henry's Perfect Day." It's a fantastic story about what happens when a rotten kid decides to abandon his horrid ways and mimic his perfect brother for a day.
As you can imagine, confusion ensues. Mom, Dad, and Perfect Peter are befuddled by Henry's sudden change of attitude. As the day wears on, Peter can hardly stand it, and eventually he cracks, completing the reversal of roles in a spaghetti-splatting finale that elicited giggles from this reader.
The subject matter of Simon's stories is inherently funny, but it's her masterful prose that makes these book so delightful. She smoothly interjects rhythm and repetition, making the words as fun to read as the story. She adds layers of hilarious and revealing consonance with every proper name. She sneaks in a life lesson or two. And in the end, she delivers sweet and funny stories as timeless as classic fables.
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Author Claire Legrand joins the MMGM fun with an awesome new series called Middle Grade Memories. Click HERE to see librarian Rita Meade discuss a book she loved growing up--with a GIVEAWAY!