Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Henry and Beezus

Henry and Beezus

Beverly Cleary
Illustrator:  Jacqueline Rogers 
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
HarperCollins, 2014   ISBN: 978-0380709144

More than just about anything Henry Huggins wants a bicycle. He'd like a brand new red one, but his parents just don't have the money to pay for such a thing at the moment. So Henry decides that he will try to save for and earn the money himself. Unfortunately, this is not an easy thing to do when your dog (Ribsy) and a friend's little sister (Ramona) are on the loose.

The first thing that goes wrong is that Ribsy steals the neighbor's roast, and then he retrieves and brings home all the newspapers that Henry delivered. Henry has to find a way to get Ribsy to leave all newspapers alone, wherever they are, and this is not an easy thing to do.

Then Henry hears about a bike auction. Maybe he will be able to get a bicycle after all. The problem is that Henry's friend Beezus has to bring her little sister along and this causes all kinds of problems for Henry. In the end he leaves the auction with a broken down girl's bicycle. What could be more disappointing and embarrassing than that? Not long after this great disappointment, Henry goes to the grand opening of a new market and, with the help of Beezus, his fortunes take a turn for the better.

Anyone who has enjoyed the company of Henry Huggins, Beezus, Ramona, Ribsy and the rest of the gang before, will enjoy this entertaining and often very funny book. Poor Henry somehow ends up getting into all kinds of peculiar situations quite by accident, and the adventures that he has are down-to-earth enough that they could happen to anyone. For this reason his stories and problems are very accessible to young readers, who will delight in Ribsy and Ramona's antics. Thankfully, Henry has a wonderful friend in Beezus, who does her best to help and support him.

Wonderfully and warmly written by one of America's most beloved children's book writers, this is a title that children will find hard to resist.