CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 7. . . .October 21, 2016
Poor Henry lives in a hurry-up world; one which every parent will recognize. Henry would agree with poet W.H. Davies' lament:
Life in the slow lane, with plenty of time to watch the birds, smell the flowers, or play with a passing dog would suit Henry perfectly. When his hyperactive friend Simon comes over to play, he needs to rest when Simon leaves. However, there is one family member who never hurries Harry or complains about how slowly he moves. Grandma is a slow mover herself. She understands the importance of leaving a bit early to avoid rushing. When the day before Harry's birthday arrives, Harry's friend Simon thinks of a way to give his friend the best present ever. He and Grandma surreptitiously set the clock back, thus giving the entire family a whole extra hour to enjoy their walk to school! There is time to see and do all the little things the family miss in their usual morning rush to arrive on time.
Jennifer Lanthier has written several books for children including The Mystery of the Martello Tower and The Legend of the Lost Jewels. Her best known work is The Stamp Collector, a picture book which was a finalist for both the TD Children's Literature Award and the Marilyn Bailey Picture Book Award.
Hurry Up, Henry is a simply written story which gently but clearly illustrates the effect that living in our hectic modern world has on one particular child. Isabelle Malenfant is an artist who fell in love with illustration after a taking a degree in graphic design. Her softly coloured mixed media paintings bring the characters, mood and setting of Hurry Up, Henry to life beautifully.
As a story time read-aloud for the 5 to 7-year-old group, Hurry Up, Henry would certainly elicit a fair number of spontaneous comments on the subject of hurrying and provide an easy springboard for a general discussion of the importance (or non-importance) of time in general. For our modern children (who only know the digital way of telling time) the picture of Grandma setting back the analogue clock might turn into an interesting lesson!
Valerie Nielsen, a retired teacher-librarian, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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