Newest Review: ... 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... more
Perfect bridge between picture books and chapter books.
Horrid Henry's Holiday - Francesca Simon
Member Name: broxi3781
Horrid Henry's Holiday - Francesca Simon
Advantages: Good story - very easy to read - builds confidence.
Disadvantages: The exact same story is found in Horrid Henry book 1.
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.
Summary: Wonderful way to help children become confident readers.