4.5 star book review for children’s book Henry Hodges Needs a Friendby Andy Andrews and illustrated by Colleen Madden—Out now!
Publisher: Tommy Nelson Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Some think it odd, that an adult who doesn’t have children would have a large collection of children’s books. So, call me odd! Children’s books were my first friends. Since I was able to walk, I’ve had a book in my hand or my face in a book. I’ve never felt that my love of reading should be limited to materials for my age group. If that was the case, the young-adult fiction market (which I also adore) wouldn’t continue to be read by those over the age of 25 (i.e, me). And since we flail over books of varying genres here at We So Nerdy, I wanted to share with you all my reviews of children’s books.
First up, Henry Hodges Needs a Friend by New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews (The Kid Who Changed the World; The Seven Decisions; The Noticer) and illustrated by Colleen Madden (Diva Duck Series; What If Everybody Did That?). I came to this book not by the author, but through the illustrator. Colleen Madden’s profile caught my eye when I was on a quest for a story to pitch for my job. I attended the MB Artists 10th anniversary party and picked up a postcard with her illustrations on it. I immediately made a mental note to find some of the books she illustrated and give them a peek. Luckily for me, I was able to do so the next day at my local book retailer and repeatedly over the next few months. When I heard she would be working on another book I knew that I needed to see the final product. Before I could venture out to see her new masterpieces, the universe stepped in and hand-delivered Henry Hodges Needs a Friend to my desk.
It wasn’t only Andy Andrews name that got me excited, it was also the chance to see something new Colleen Madden had produced. Thankfully, both the author and illustrator produced an amazing book, hence the 4.5 star book review rating.
Henry Hodges Needs a Friend tells the story through rhyme, of a lonely young boy who is looking for his perfect friend. The Hodges, live on the last house on a dead-end street and no matter how many times Henry’s parents remind him that he is special, he still struggles with the feeling that he doesn’t fit in. So the family goes on a quest to find Henry a pet, who is one-of-a-kind just like him. The Hodges at their local rescue shelter find another lonely soul in a cute, spotted puppy named “Hap.”
Henry Hodges Needs a Friend (“suitable for 4yrs to 6yrs”) is a lovely book AND Colleen’s illustrations are amazing! You can truly see the emotions that Andy is describing in his words through her illustrations. When the Hodges are at the rescue shelter there is an illustration of a poster that states, “Cats Can Be VERRRRY sneaky” that had be laughing out loud. The brilliance of Andy’s words along with Colleen’s illustrations makes for a great book to read for yourself or to someone else. Also, I will forever love any work that dedicates the book to a children’s librarian. Andy dedicates the book to Patsy “Ms. Patsy” Rose, the children’s librarian at the Orange Beach Public Library, where his boys have gone to her programs and events.
Henry Hodges Needs a Friend is a must read. So head to your library or local retailer and pick up a copy. Until then, check out a blurb from the book:
Henry wandered outside
To his old tire swing,
Just to wonder what boredom
This new day would bring.
But his mother’s eyes twinkled.
“Don’t worry. Don’t fret.
A friend’s what you need,
So a friend’s what you’ll get!” (via Tommy Nelson Books)
Release Date: Mar 10, 2015
Length: 32 pages