Henrietta, There's No One Better
Written & Illustrated by Martine Murray
For the chapter-book set, an ebullient charmer reminiscent of Eloise and Judy Moody.
Henrietta P. Hoppenbeek the First has a habit of making things up.
Some things are true: Henrietta has a baby brother the size of a sock (almost), a crazy brown dog named Madge, and a constant hunger for chocolate ripple cake. She is good at explorification and making her dad's underwear into a superb hat. Other things ar not true: Henrietta says she can keep a secret. She cannot.
But if Henrietta has a habit of making things up, she has an even bigger habit of making things fun, even little brothers and hamsters. So come meet Henrietta, and make an irresistible, irrepressible new friend.
"Henrietta P. Hoppenbeek provides the delightfully careening narrative in Murray's (The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley ) quirky tale. After the garrulous heroine describes herself ("I'm a good wiggler, and sometimes I'mexhillperating and sometimes I'mexasperating "), she introduces her pet mice, dog, best friend and baby brother Albert, who is "only the size of a sock. Not really. He's probably about the same size as a sewing machine, only he can't sew." Sepia- and rose-toned spot illustrations in a childlike free-hand style demonstrate Henrietta's points (e.g., baby Albert within the outline of a sewing machine). She blithely announces that her role at home is to "make sure things keep happening." It is a job at which she excels. Trotting out her comically overactive imagination, the lass lists the things she can do: "I can become a dueling rhinoceros, a surf champion,... or a high-and-mighty lady singing hallelujah, praise the land of agreeable chairs" (a series of scenes depict a chair as her chief prop in each scenario) and confides that "what she really want[s] to be is an explorer" (e.g., sailing in the bathtub with her brother to the Land of One Thousand Alberts, where she drops him off "for a long holiday"). Handlettered type that swirls across the page, along with the energetic, spontaneous-looking drawings add to the whimsy of the book. Feisty, inventive Henrietta is sure to attract many fans." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This hybrid picture-/short chapter book introduces free-spirited, precocious, and self-absorbed Henrietta, who describes herself as “a good wiggler, and sometimes I’m exhillperating and sometimes I’m expasperating.” In a rambling narrative featuring creative wordplay and colorful fonts, the girl describes her family, pets, friends, and imaginative journeys. Scattered throughout are plenty of whimsical, childlike drawings with red accents. In one venture, she sets sail in her bathtub for undiscovered lands, first dropping her baby brother, Albert, in the Land of One Thousand Alberts before heading on to the Wide Wide Long Cool Coast of the Lost Socks. She also has a special relationship with “the Rietta,” an imaginary partner-in-crime. While her musings are a bit silly at times, they are effervescent and inventive, too. One episode gently relates the demise of one of her pet mice, who dies of loneliness after her companion runs away. This causes Henrietta to muse thoughtfully that “all things get lonely.” This girl will be embraced by many young readers, particularly those who’ve enjoyed Lauren Child’s “Clarice Bean” books (Candlewick)." -- School Library Journal
"Not so much a story as a slice of Henrietta's life, exuberantly illustrated in her favorite red and occasionally busting out into her personal handwriting, this is a book to inspire budding memoirists everywhere." -- The Washington Post
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Illustrated Chapter Book
Trim Size: 5
Page Count: 96
Foreign Rights: Allen & Unwin
Translation Rights: Allen & Unwin
Rights Available? yes
How to Make a Bird
Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley, The