Hurry Up, Henry by J. Lanthier
Lanthier, Jennifer. Hurry Up, Henry, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant, Penguin Canada Books, 2016.
Dreamers and introverts need time: time to observe; time to imagine; time alone to recharge their emotional batteries. The “Henry” of this storybook is, very definitely, a dreamer—and, very possibly, an introvert. He seems destined to be dragged out of his reveries by a clock-watching family, and worn to a frazzle by his hyperactive friend, Simon. Happily, Henry is loved; even better, he is understood by both his grandmother and Simon. Together, these two conspire to give Henry a gift of time.
Isabelle Malenfant creates an urban setting for Lanthier’s story. Her delicately coloured line drawings depict the city sidewalks, city parks, hallways, elevators, and apartment rooms through which Henry is “hurried.” Her illustrations are perfectly suited to the text--in fact, they are the primary means by which the emotional complexity of the story is conveyed.
Lanthier’s text, itself, is very simply worded, even understated. The vocabulary she uses, her story’s emphasis on clock-watching and time-telling, suggest a book perfectly suited for independent reading in grade two.
The book is an obvious “must buy” for school and public libraries. As well, it would be a helpful addition to the home library for families who find themselves endlessly urging one of their smaller members to “Hurry up!”
Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Leslie Aitken
Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship involved selection of children’s literature for school, public, special and academic libraries. She is a former Curriculum Librarian for the University of Alberta.
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