Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Hurry Up, Henry
Publish September 21, 2016
Award-winning author of The Stamp Collector, Jennifer Lanthier, teams up with Montreal-based illustrator Isabelle Malenfant (Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress) in Hurry Up, Henry, a story that celebrates one boy’s love of living in the moment. Henry doesn’t like to hurry. He doesn’t want to be late, either, but he just doesn’t have the same sense of urgency others do. Henry likes to take his time – stopping to watch birds, enjoy flowers, and blow bubbles. Only Henry’s grandma and his friend Simon seem to understand, so when Henry’s birthday draws near, they team up to give him and his family a gift of time they can all enjoy. Repeating the refrain “we’re going to be late” from the lips of a diverse cast of characters, Lanthier quickly establishes the problem Henry faces. She contrasts Henry’s slow nature with that of his friend Simon, who is always being asked to slow down. Using watercolours and pastels, Malenfant infuses Henry’s surroundings with colour, and mutes the backdrops of his rushed family members. While reminiscent of the illustration technique in Sidewalk Flowers, Malenfant goes further by adding a dreamy look to Henry’s immediate environment. The hurried family members also lean out of pages while Henry and his grandmother stand straight and centered, effectively mimicking their dispositions. Hurry Up, Henry reminds readers of the gift of slowing down – perfect at this busy time of transition to the new school year.
Illustration EN: Isabelle Malenfant
Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 13: 978-0-670-06837-1
The National Reading Campaign publishes children's book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.