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Horrid Henry's Joke Book    by Francesca Simon & Tony Ross order for
Horrid Henry's Joke Book
by Francesca Simon
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Horrid Henry is the young antihero of a series of internationally bestselling chapter books (aimed at ages 7-12) by Francesca Simon, who plays off the hilariously horrid Henry (a UK Dennis the Menace) against his goody-goody younger brother, Perfect Peter. Tony Ross's devilish illustrations clearly convey the humor.

Now, author and illustrator bring young fans Horrid Henry's Joke Book with a cover warning 'Too rude for parents!' (I peeked anyway). They're categorized into sixteen sections from Mummy's Curse Jokes to Jokes Much Too Rude to Tell Mom, with headings like Terminator Gladiator Jokes and Doctor Dettol Jokes in between (for North American readers, Dettol is a household disinfectant commonly used in the U.K.).

So what does Henry find funny? Wonder why the mummy had no friends - 'He was too wrapped up in himself.' The vampire needed mouthwash 'Because he had bat breath.' As it hit the windshield, the fly said 'That's me all over.' Werewolves have holes in their underpants 'So furry tails can come true.' The feeling that you've smelled a certain skunk before is 'Déja phew!' Cinderella was kicked off the soccer team because 'She kept running away from the ball.'

If you like those examples of Henry's humor, then dig through all the grisly groaners in Horrid Henry's Joke Book. You might even enjoy Perfect Peter's favorites too - even with Henry's disdainful running commentary.

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