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***Horrid Henry and The Secret Club by Francesca Simon***
I like Horrid Henry. I like him because he likes being naughty and says what he thinks, things you can't get away with when you are an adult. Oh, and my son thinks he is cool too. This book contains four stories, with one of them being that mentioned in the main title.
~Horrid Henry's Injection~
Henry is waiting in Doctor Dettol's waiting room, dreading the injection he is about to have. Many of his class mates are there too, such as Sour Susan, Moody Margaret and Jolly Josh etc. Every time someone comes out of the nurse's room, he thinks that it is his turn. Many of the children are not brave and cry, but Moody Margaret manages to come out bravely and not cry at all. This gives Henry strength...until it is his turn. He goes into Nurse Needle's room and whilst he is just about to accept the inevitable, he comes up with a plan. He sees that injections should not be given to children who are ill, so sure enough Henry takes a turn for the worse. He is sent home and pampered over in bed, so it looks like Henry got away with it - but, did he?
~Horrid Henry and the Secret Club~
This is quite a simple story. Sour Susan is trying to get into Moody Margaret's Secret Club, but she forgets the password. They have to have a password to make sure that Horrid Henry has no way of getting into their hideout. Eventually Margaret tells her it is 'Nunga Nu'. A few minutes later Henry arrives and utters 'Nunga Nu'. The girls have no choice but to let him in. He polishes off the biscuits and the girls set up a new rule - 'no boys', so Henry leaves. Moody Margaret blames Sour Susan for the password being discovered and bans Susan for a week from the club. Perfect Peter is also banned when Henry falls out with him. Margaret then decides to set a booby trap in Henry's fort; the only thing is Henry has a similar idea...
~Perfect Peter's Horrid Day~
Perfect Peter who is Horrid Henry's younger brother is tired of the attention Horrid Henry keeps getting - surely some attention is better than none at all? Even if it is for being horrid. So Peter sets out to emulate Henry's ways, being rude, untidy, greedy etc. However, none of it seems to work! No matter how hard Peter tries Henry still gets the blame and Peter comes up smelling of roses. In the end Peter gets tired of trying and decides to go back to being good. It is only when he has given up seeking attention for being naughty, that he finally gets his wish!!!
~Horrid Henry's Birthday Party~
Horrid Henry is planning his birthday party. Every year it goes so badly that his parents say never again! This year he decides to go to Lazer Zap, but when the lady rings up to confirm the booking and she realises it is for Henry, the party is cancelled and it is up to mum and dad to save the day. He ends up having the party at home, with old fashioned games such as pass the parcel and musical bumps. Henry is as rude as ever, making negative comments about the presents, about who wins the games etc. Will this be Henry's last chance to ever have a party?
I like this book because the four stories are a nice length, both for a parent to read or for a young reader to begin independent reading. I think that it is suitable for both boys and girls, around the age of five onwards. The stories are great fun, because often being naughty pays off in these stories and it is sometimes the goody two shoes children who receive the bad luck!
They have lots of alliteration in them with the names being used and it gets children to think up a few of their own. I also like the fact that there are may books and an annual to this collection, which spurs children on with their reading to get to the next one. There are also some very effective but very simple black and white illustrations used throughout the book.
In this particular book it also gives parents a chance to discuss immunisations and why children need them, in an effort to allay any fears that they might have. The birthday party story is also a lesson in not how to behave and to have a talk about what good manners are.
There is also lots of dialogue between the characters, which gives parents a chance put on their 'voices'. It is however, more likely that you will miss out and that the child will be able to read it alone, as the story contains just the right balance of words and pictures. The typeface is also a decent size, so again children are not deterred by pages and pages of text.
I can thoroughly recommend this book and indeed any in the series.
They are available in sets from The Book People, but if you are not sure and just want to try one, they can be picked up on Ebay for around £2.25. They make a good alternative Easter gift, instead of chocolate, although I don't think Henry would approve!
Horrid Henry, his brother Perfect Peter and his rabble of friends that includes Moody Margaret and Rude Ralph are currently the subject of 17 books written for children aged between 6 and 11. The author of these books is Francesca Simon and each book is based around the antics of Horrid Henry. As his name suggests Henry is a horrid child and so are many of his friends whereas his brother Peter is perfect. This leads Henry's mum and dad to wish that Henry would just stop being horrid and be more like his brother. We don't wish that however, as if Henry was perfect then there'd be no story.
Horrid Henry and the Secret Club is book number 2 and was published in 1994. The book contains four stories entitled, Horrid Henry's Injection, Horrid Henry and the Secret Club, Perfect Peter's Horrid Day and Horrid Henry's Birthday Party.
Each story is roughly 20 pages in length and so is more than manageable for children. The stories are also interspersed with some fabulous illustrations by Tony Ross, which grab and hold children's attention as well as helping them to engage further with the story being told.
Now for each of the four stories in this book I have written a short synopsis so as to give you a little insight into the antics of Henry that Simon has written about. Please note that these synopses are short but that is simply because so are the stories and therefore writing too much would give the entire story away.
**Horrid Henry's Injection**
Henry hates injections but that is exactly what time it is - Injection time. As Henry sits in the waiting room of Dr Dettol's surgery he watches and listen as his friends enter the surgery, scream and then leave. When Margaret enters however there is no scream before she leaves the surgery and Henry is determined to be just as brave as her when his turn arrives. Fat chance of that happening as when his name is called Henry immediately starts kicking and screaming and scheming about how to get out of it.
**Horrid Henry and the Secret Club **
Both Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret have secret clubs. They both of 'loyal' member or more correctly a 'loyal' member and both have passwords that dictate who can and can't enter the clubhouse. More importantly both of them want to enter the others secret club. How to do it, is the question that most prominently features.
**Perfect Peter's Horrid Day**
Perfect Peter is fed up of not being noticed by mum and dad. They are always too busy yelling at Henry to notice how good he is being. That's when Peter decides that tomorrow he is going to be just as horrid as Henry. Unfortunately for him things don't exactly go as planned when the bad deeds he does are misinterpreted. Will Peter ever be told not to be horrid.
**Horrid Henry's Birthday Party**
That time of the year has come around again - Henry's birthday. Neither mum nor dad are eagerly anticipating the prospect of Henry's birthday party but things look up when they book it elsewhere. Unfortunately the place cancels at the last minute due to Henry's reputation and mum and dad are forced to hold the party at home. Can the day really get any worse?
My favourite story out of the four has to be Horrid Henry's Injection because to be perfectly honest I wish I ahd the guts to do what Henry does when faced with the prospect of an injection, as I hate them with a passion too.
I would highly recommend these stories to all children within the target age range. They are simple yet entertaining reads and are sure to capture the imaginations of all that read them.