Little Red Henry

illus. by Madeline Valentine. 40p. Candlewick. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763661762. LC 2014939355.
PreS-K—Redheaded Henry is the poster child for overprotected kids. Not only does he have "helicopter" parents, he also has a hovering brother and sister. They feed him, dress him, and even offer to brush his "widdle toofers." The capable boy has had enough and tells them so: "I can do it myself!" And he does. Henry arranges his own playdate with next door neighbor Gibson. The boys frolic with great freedom all day, never noticing the watchful eyes trained on them. Henry's newfound self-sufficiency causes his family to fall into a state of listless boredom, but soon they remember some of the things they enjoyed before Henry became their sole focus. They begin to paint, type, waltz, wallpaper, and tap dance. After readying himself for bed, Henry discovers there is still one thing he needs help with. They happily comply with his request to be tucked in and the family achieves some balance. The illustrations, graphite drawings painted in gouache, are colorful and expressively amusing. Text appears in various places on the pages and an enlarged font is used occasionally for emphasis.
VERDICT This charming story will resonate with children beginning to assert their independence.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing