Day: October 31, 2013

Review: Henry’s Hand by Ross MacDonald

henrys hand

Henry’s Hand by Ross MacDonald

Get ready for a perfect non-Halloween Halloween book!  Henry is a monster who often loses bits and pieces of himself.  So every morning he goes through a little rhyme to make sure that all of his pieces are there.  Henry’s right hand was his favorite body part.  They played games together and traveled everywhere together.  Then Henry got lazy and started using his right hand to do all of the chores that he didn’t want to do himself.  Hand got more and more upset until finally, he just left.  Hand was off to the big city on his own and Henry was left behind, knowing that it was all his fault.  But how do you apologize to someone who has already left?  And how do you know they are OK and not hurt?  Henry had to figure out not only how to live without his right hand, but how to get him back.

MacDonald has written a wonderfully original book that is unafraid of being wildly wacky.  Behind that wild premise though is a book with plenty of heart.  It is a story of real friendship, the loss of a best friend, and finding a way back to reunite.  MacDonald has a nice feel for pacing and drama, peppering his book with plenty of action. 

This is a book set in a world that has a vintage feel about it, the city is filled with early century vehicles and technology.   Henry himself is an homage to the monsters of that time, yet he is also completely friendly and nonthreatening. 

Add this to your Halloween reads, monster story times, and units on body parts and friendship.  It is sure to come in handy!  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Abrams Books for Young Readers.

2013 Best Illustrated Children’s Books

The New York Times has released their picks for the Ten Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the year.  They are:

Romance The Dark Fog Island

Ballad by Blexbolex

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen (my review)

Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer (my review)

Holland Jane, the Fox, and Me Jemmy Button

Holland by Charlotte Dematons

Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali

Journey Locomotive

Journey by Aaron Becker (my review)

Locomotive by Brian Floca

My Brother's Book Nelson Mandela

My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak

Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (my review)