Twenty years ago, in 1994, the very first Horrid Henry book hit the shelves. Since then, this amazing little character has sold over fifteen million copies. Author Francesca Simon aptly sums up the reasons for the enduring appeal of Horrid Henry:
“I often describe the Horrid Henry books as westerns for kids. Henry is an outlaw, who behaves dreadfully, yet often triumphs. Just as adults like reading about people who go against convention, so kids get a thrill from a child who always acts on impulse and never worries about the consequences. Henry is pure ego, while Perfect Peter is an exaggerated version of the impeccably behaved child parents think they want.
There are a variety of Horrid Henry stories, many of which are coming out this year to coincide with the twenty year anniversary. Your library, bookshop or e-reader will have plentiful copies. Children can also find fun activities, jokes and “how to draw” Horrid Henry activities at http://www.horridhenry.co.uk
In Horrid Henry Shows Who’s Boss, ten short stories will have you rip roaring with laughter at the mischievious antics of this lovable fellow. Horrid Henry is always pushing the boundaries. Adults too will laugh at the egoistic Henry. Sibling arguments abound in Horrid Henry and the TV Remote that will bring an ‘ahhh yes’ moment of recognition from parents. In Horrid Henry’s Author Visit Henry is asked to leave his class due to misbehavior and then regrets it when he ends up in his little brother’s junior class singing “Oh I’m a happy nappy, a happy zappy nappy…’ with author Milksop Miles. He must think of a way to escape back to his own class and not miss out on hearing and meeting the exciting author for his grade level.
Horrid Henry’s Biggest and Best Ever Joke Book (2014) is also a great book for learning readers and family time. An afternoon can be very enjoyable and aid in children’s reading when they simply take turns with other family members in selecting and reading out their favourite jokes. The clever wordplay and puns will sometimes need to be explained to younger children.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.
Happy Anniversary, Horrid Henry!