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Added on 29th June 2020

Author Francesca Simon
Illustrator Tony Ross
First Published 1994
Publisher Orion Children’s Books

"Don't be horrid, Henry." The familiar refrain throughout the books as Henry plays his jokes and tricks on all around him.

Story

Henry doesn’t mean to be horrid - it just happens! Whereas Peter, his younger brother, is always perfect.

Horrid Henry is the first in a series of entertaining short stories for young readers about the adventures of a small boy and his gang.

Why we chose it

Packed with jokes, pranks and funny illustrations, the Horrid Henry books encourage children to read for pleasure and explore good and bad behaviour, friendships and frictions, at home and school. We soon realise there’s a touch of Henry and Peter in us all.

Where it came from

Francesca Simon grew up in California and studied medieval literature at Yale and Oxford universities. She has published over 50 children’s books and is a passionate advocate of children’s reading.

Simon began writing the Henry stories when her son was small, discovering she had a knack for telling imaginative and funny stories about everyday life.

Some of her books for older children, such as Lost Gods and The Monstrous Child, draw on Norse myths.

Simon chose the imperious Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as her favourite character for The Story Museum’s 26 Characters exhibition.

Tony Ross is an illustrator and picture book author, known for his Little Princess stories and his illustrations for David Walliams.

Where it went next

The Horrid Henry stories are best sellers in many languages and have inspired games, radio programmes, an animated TV series, film and stage show.

Associated stories

There are 30 collections of Horrid Henry stories as well as joke and puzzle books and annuals.

Added on 29th June 2020

Author Francesca Simon
Illustrator Tony Ross
First Published 1994
Publisher Orion Children’s Books