Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Early Readers - Henry and Mudge and The Bedtime Thumps

Henry And Mudge And The Bedtime Thumps by Cynthia Rylant with Suçie Stevenson as illustrator 1991

When looking for a reliable and generally entertaining Easy Reader Book, the Henry and Mudge series is one to select. This particular story focuses on Henry’s fears of having to sleep without Mudge when visiting his grandmother who lives in the country. Both Henry and Mudge worry all the way to Grandma’s house about how Mudge may have to sleep outside because he is so big. Upon arrival their fears are realized. Grandma’s house is very small and everywhere Mudge turns he is accidentally knocking something over. Henry’s father then bans Mudge to the yard and Henry finds he cannot sleep that night because of all the strange country noises. As Henry checks on Mudge, he finds that sleep comes quickly when he curls up with Mudge under the table on the porch. Both of their fears are eased and they get some sleep.

Although this is somewhat of an older book, the only dated part of it is found in the artwork. Henry’s father has a somewhat unfashionable appearance and no seatbelts are worn, but it doesn’t detract from the story. The book doesn’t provide a self-imposed reading level (at least the copy I have), but it would probably fall into a level two reader, depending on the system you follow. This and others in the series are probably good for about a 5 year-old and up. It has a nice flow and appealing storyline that most kids can relate to that are attached to their pets or other type of object. As a side note Rylant and the Henry and Mudge series in particular Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas won the first annual Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2006.


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