Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Henry and Ribsy

Henry and Ribsy

Beverly Cleary
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
HarperCollins, 2014   ISBN: 978-0380709175

Henry Huggins loves his dog, but there are times when Ribsy is a real nuisance. Lately Ribsy seems to be getting himself, and Henry, into more trouble than usual. When Ribsy growls and barks at the garbage man Henry is mortified. What has come over Ribsy? He is usually so friendly and easygoing. Now everyone in the neighborhood thinks that Ribsy is a vicious and dangerous dog. To make matters worse, because the garbage man was too afraid to collect the garbage after Ribsy barked at him, the Huggins' now have a very full garbage can that reeks.

Henry really wants his father to take him fishing for salmon sometime in the fall. Not long ago Henry's friend Scooter went fishing with his dad and he came home with a silverside salmon. His father's response to Henry's request is to say "We'll see." Then, after Ribsy steals a policeman's lunch right out of his police car, Mr. Huggins tells Henry that he will take his son fishing if Henry works harder to keep Ribsy under control. Eagerly Henry agrees to his father's terms. It is only after Ribsy gets into trouble yet again that Henry realizes that he has made a promise that might be very hard to keep.

With her Henry Huggins and Ramona books, Beverly Clearly has, without a doubt, created a series of stories that are entertaining, funny, and a joy to read. Her characters have everyday kinds of adventures, adventures that become engrossing because of the author's engaging and down-to-earth writing style. In this title the relationship between a boy and his dog is perfectly captured. Some readers might even be tempted to ask their parents if they too can get a dog.

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