Friday, March 19, 2010
Henry in Love, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty. Balzer + Bray, Harper. 2010. $19.99 ages 5 and up
"Henry awoke to the smell of blueberry muffins.
He got ready for the day
and headed downstairs to the kitchen."
This simple story has much to offer its readers. Henry is a quiet dreamer who spends his days at ordinary things. He gets up in the morning, has breakfast, goes to school with his brother and his best friend, and he spends his day doing school things. It is there that he finds himself enamored of Chloe. She is bright, assertive and can do a spectacular cartwheel. Henry is suitably impressed, and he is in love.
Chloe is the lovliest girl and Henry wants to talk to her; his shyness is a barrier. So, he does a somersault, plays tag with her and sees only Chloe when she is near, despite the presence of his friends and classmates. When the teacher moves everyone around at the end of the day, it is Henry's great good luck to find Chloe at the next desk. As snack time ends the day, he is willing to give up the blueberry muffin he has been savoring since his mother packed it in the early morning in exchange for a carrot. Chloe is duly impressed. Henry proves that last conquers all!
The minimalist artwork boasts soft sepia tones, bright watercolor details and plenty of uncluttered white space. It is a perfect match for the text.