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Horrid Henry's Holiday - Francesca Simon

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2 Reviews

Genre: Junior Books / Author: Francesca Simon / Paperback / 96 Pages / Book is published 2009-05-28 by Orion Childrens

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      19.11.2012 18:57
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      Wonderful way to help children become confident readers.

      Horrid Henry is a very active, mischievous boy. I wouldn't go so far as to say he was horrid. In fact he does have several redeeming qualities, but he also drives his parents to distraction to home. Will things be any better on holiday? I don't think so. His parents have planned a camping holiday in France. Henry doesn't mind the boat - it is lots of fun until the water gets rough then he turns green as does Peter - his ever so perfect brother. So the parents may be starting their holiday covered in puke - but they are still determined it will be the best holiday ever.

      Henry was quite excited to be going camping. he was expecting a holiday resort like Margaret had been to with a swimming pool, television in the tents and all sorts of luxuries. Instead his parents found a miserable windswept hill and plopped down a tiny tent. Things go from bad to worse but Henry gets a brilliant idea that just might save the holiday - at least for him.

      My sons both like Horrid Henry. Children do like to see other children misbehave and there is plenty of humour as well. Anyone who has ever planned the perfect camping holiday is apt to have a good laugh as well. Henry is an easy child to relate too, he isn't so much bad as suffering from terrible sibling rivalry, and a very active personality. His parents are not bad either - they do love him - but he drives them ad at times too. I think watching the poor parents driven to distraction is a large part of this book's appeal as well.

      Horrid Henry's Holiday is part of an early scheme for Horrid Henry fans. These books usually cost slightly more than the ordinary Horrid Henry chapter books, and instead of getting four stories, you only get one - so why pay extra?

      You are paying for two things in this book. The first is the illustrations. Instead of the odd black and white drawing found in most Horrid Henry books, these have full colour illustrations on every page, and they are printed on a nicer, thick, white paper. You are also paying extra because this book is meant to be easier to read - so is it? Yes and no.

      Horrid Henry's Holiday also appears in the first Horrid Henry book. It is the exact same story, word for word, so theoretically, this should not be any easier to read than the original book. But theories don't always work out in practice - at least mine don't. I bought this at a time when my oldest was learning to read - and could read books with far more complicated text than this in Oxford Reading Tree's series, as well as a few other pictures books. Chapter books however, he felt were too difficult. There were just too many words. I bought him this book and one other Horrid Henry Early Reader and he breezed through them without missing a beat. After a few days I asked him if he could read the same story in the original Horrid Henry Book. He felt that would be too hard, so I showed him one line at a time, how it was the exact same words. Still doubtful he tried the paperback and succeeded.

      So do I feel that it was a gimmick - if the text is really exactly the same? No - I don't. I realise that having only a few lines on each page gave my son the confidence to read the Early Reader books, and this confidence was then easily transferred to the chapter book. I honestly believe that this book, and our other Horrid Henry Early Reader really did help my son make the transition from picture books to paperbacks easily. He quickly moved on to reading teh larger Horrid Henry Books and then to longer and more complex books. With results like that I can not give this book anything less than 5 stars.

      My oldest is nearly 8 now, and has long outgrown these books, but as my youngest son enjoys the television programme, I decided to bring a few out at story time. He especially likes the early readers because of the colourful pictures, so at the moment this book is just serving as a story book. In fact he has enjoyed it so much I have ordered a third early reader book. I like that fact that can add variety to his nightly story session, and be used again when he starts reading.

      New copies of this book sell for £3.59 from Amazon. You can order a used copy from them, with free delivery at only £1.73. If you have a younger child who really enjoys Horrid Henry - I can't recommend this enough as picture book. If you have an older child struggling to make the leap from pictures books to chapter books, then I feel this book is absolutely brilliant. I would let the child become completely confident with this book before showing them it the exact same words as the chapter book. While my oldest has outgrown these books - he still watches the cartoon so I believe Horrid Henry is likely to have some appeal with older children as well - perhaps up to ages 8 -9. I believe this appeal to slightly older children, coupled with very easy reading make this quite suitable for children who are learning to read a bit later, and this could be a wonderful confidence builder for them.

      I would not recommend this for children who are already reading the 1st Horrid Henry chapter book though - simply because they already have it. If they need help developing their confidence in reading, by all means buy it, but otherwise they may feel quite dissapointed to get a new book only to discover they have already read it.

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      • More +
        14.06.2009 09:52
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        Henry goes on holiday but unfortunately it is not as he imagined!

        Horrid Henry's Holiday is a book which my eldest was delighted having for his birthday and had even more fun reading it. This book is different from the previous ones which he has read as it is one long story instead of 4 short ones but this has not put his off reading.

        The story starts with Henry being told that they are going on holiday and him not being happy as their last holidays have been very boring for Henry and he did not enjoy them. Henry and Perfect Peter are both happy about this holiday and Henry knows a lot about camping as he has heard all about it from Moody Margaret who painted a very nice picture of luxury tents full of exciting things.

        Finally the time comes for them to get on the boat to get over to France but Henry will not sit still where as Perfect peter is sitting nicely drawing a picture. The boat starts rocking and both Henry and peter start to feel sick and Henry is sick all over his Mom and Peter all over his Dad. Henry does not mind as he still thinks this is going to be his best holiday ever. They finally arrive at their campsite after leaving the boat and lots of driving and Henry is excited when he sees lots of massive tents which are as big as houses but he is soon getting cross when they carry on driving past them.

        Is Henry going to have his best ever holiday or is he going to find out camping is not all luxury like he thought it would be?

        I was a bit dubious about this book when my eldest got it as it is one long story but for some reason he has completely loved it. The book is spilt into 6 chapters and all of the text is spaced out very nicely and is nice and big so it is very easy to read. The whole of the book has the text on plain white sections of the pages and there are also lots of small illustrations on all of the pages. In this book as it is newer the pictures are all in colour and they do help to show the characters and the setting for what is being talked about.

        The story is very fun and it kept my eldest wanting to read more just to see what Henry was going to get up to next. The words which have been used are all nice and simple so he had no problems in reading this book all on his own but he did say he found it more fun when he was sharing the reading with his Dad.

        The book was written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross. It was published by Orion books and has a retail price on the back cover of £4.99 which I think is a good price for such a fun book.

        I do definitely recommend this book as it is fun, easy to read and encourages independent reading. I would say that this book has been aimed at children around the 7 year old mark. This book also gets two thumbs up from my eldest and he says it is 'well cool'!

        There are a lot of other titles available in the Horrid Henry book collection and if you would like any further information on this or any book then please visit www.horridhenry.co.uk

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