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Horrid Henry's Christmas: 4 laugh-out-loud stories!    by Francesca Simon & Tony Ross order for
Horrid Henry's Christmas
by Francesca Simon
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's hard to imagine a happy Henry holiday - what horrid things will he do, we wonder, to sabotage Perfect Peter's Christmas? No need to wonder long. Just dive into the '4 laugh-out-loud stories!' in Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry's Christmas. As always, Tony Ross's dramatically devilish illustrations clearly convey the antics of this UK Dennis the Menace.

It all starts 37 days before Christmas with Horrid Henry's Christmas Play. Hoping to be assigned the lead role of 'an all-singing, all-dancing Joseph' by Miss Battle-Axe, Henry is humiliated with the one-word innkeeper's part while his younger brother is the star. What does Henry do? He ad libs and hilarity ensues.

In Horrid Henry's Christmas Presents, after he and his brother squabble over decorating the tree, Henry's moment of truth arrives. It's time to put out presents and he has none to wrap - 'Why couldn't he just get them? he wonders. But Henry's an ingenious child; he works something out.

Moving on to Christmas Eve, we have Horrid Henry's Ambush, in which he plans to 'hold Santa Claus hostage with his Goo-Shooter' while he takes his pick from the present sack! He sets his trap - can you guess who's caught in it? No-one undeserving for sure.

At last it's Christmas Day and we hear all about Horrid Henry's Christmas Lunch, when everything that could possibly go wrong does - in spades! And that's when Henry has his brilliant idea. Chapter book readers can't go wrong with Horrid Henry hilarity - at Christmas or any other time of year!

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