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Book review:
Horrid Henry's Thank You Letter

Horrid Henry's Thank You Letter, by Francesca Simon Horrid Henry's Thank You Letter
by Francesca Simon

Orion Childrens, 2011
80 pages

Horrid Henry absolutely hates writing thank you letters. His approach can serve as a terrible - and very funny - warning to kids about why it is important to do them right!

I don't find Horrid Henry, star of Francesca Simon's wildly successful children's books, an endearing character, however, there's no doubt that many kids love him. And, as my mother always used to say - if you can't be a good example, then you'll have to serve as a terrible warning!

Henry has three thank you notes to write, and to his disgust he's not allowed to watch TV until he has done them. Irritatingly, Henry's little brother, Peter Perfect, has already completed his ('I always write mine the moment I unwrap the present', he says), and to make matters even worse, two of the presents he must say thank you for are 'horrible'. But even the 15 from his Grandma - which he thinks is 'great' - doesn't elicit any gratitude or the impulse to say thank you.

Henry decides that he would rather starve, die or stay in his room for a year, rather than write any of these notes. This may be depressingly familiar to any parents who have had fights with their kids about writing thank you letters!

But then, Henry comes up with a plan - a thank you note writing business that will make him rich! But of course, it all goes wrong, and the book ends with an unrepentant Henry in big trouble both with his customers and with his parents...

This is not a story where there's any kind of change of heart or epiphany about the value of gratitude and saying thank you. However, it is very funny, and could well be a stepping stone to discussing thank you notes with your kids, and why and how they should be written.

As an added bonus the story may give your children some ideas about entrepreneurship and starting a business (Henry has plenty of eager customers for his thank you letter writing service!). It certainly demonstrates that being slapdash and lazy is not the right way to go about things.

This would be a fun read aloud for younger children, and is an easy read for older kids with six brief chapters and plenty of illustrations.

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