Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire by Francesca Simon
Illustrated by Tony Ross
Review by: Lauren
Copy from publisher, but all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Henry is up to his usual mischief.
Four new stories in which Horrid Henry terrorizes his classmates at a school sleepover in the museum; plays with Perfect Peter and tricks him into handing over all his money; gets out of writing his own story for Miss Battle-Axe by adapting one of Peter's; and meets the Nudie Foodie, a celebrity chef, who comes to the school to improve school dinners. No more burgers! No more chips!
Review: I thought this was the perfect book to review for July 4th, America's Day of Independence, because the author, Francesca Simon, is an American author who now lives in London with her family. Horrid Henry is a much-beloved series and the Zombie Vampire edition is by no means the first collection.
This one, however, includes the following stories (spoilers are included in the brief summaries!)
Horrid Henry Writes a Story- Henry steals his little brother's story for a class assignment. When he is made to read it in front of the kindergarten class, he realizes that it's Peter's classroom and he has to change it in order to not be found out...unfortunately, he proceeds to scare a bunch of little kids!
Horrid Henry and the Nudie Foodie- Henry's school has a chef come to help them create healthy food for the cafeteria. Henry hates this and tries to sabotage the food...except he ends up liking it!
Horrid Henry and the Mad Professor- Henry tricks his brother into playing a game that devoids Peter of most of his money and candy...until their mom finds out and makes Henry give the money back (but he already ate the candy, so he's happy).
Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire- Henry and Peter's classes are having an overnight at the museum. Henry tells Peter and his friends lies about their teachers, in order to frighten them...and it works!
Horrid Henry's stories are fun and it's easy to see Henry in a lot of little boys...he gets in trouble, he doesn't want to hang out with his little brother, and he doesn't follow directions very well...and I'm sure a lot of younger readers would really enjoy him! Each story is just long enough, with a lot of alliterative names (Horrid Henry, Perfect Peter, Rude Ralph, etc.) that I'm sure would be fun to read aloud.
These stories are obviously not for my age group, but they were fun to check out. I know some adults are said to find them quite amusing, and I suppose I agree in a way. They are more of the chuckling, shake your head at Henry's craziness as opposed to laugh out loud.
One aspect of the stories that I love, though, are the illustrations done by Tony Ross. They remind me a lot of the drawings you find in Roald Dahl books (which I enjoyed growing up!) and there is at least one drawing on each spread (meaning if you open the book, at least one side will have an illustration).
Make it a Gift
If you think you know a boy or girl that would enjoy this or any other Horrid Henry book, I suggest adding the following movie to make it a proper gift!
Dennis the Menace on DVD is a perfect addition to Horrid Henry, as he's another young boy prone to getting in trouble...while making viewers laugh!