Today I have the privilege of reviewing a super cute book that you and the kids in your life are sure to love! It's called "Henry Hodges Needs a Friend" and it was written by Andy Andrews and illustrated by Colleen Madden and released by Tommy Nelson books earlier this year. This book is absolutely adorable and I loved it!
Geared towards children around ages 5-8, the story follows a young boy by the name of Henry Hodges. Henry is an only child and lives with his parents out at the end of a "long, dead-end street" away from other children and so he has no one to play with and he also doesn't like to play with toys - such a predicament! Since Henry and his family don't live around other kids, Henry feels lonely and longs for a friend to play with.
One day his parents surprise him by letting him know they are going to help him find a friend, not in the form of a person, but in the form of a pet. Henry wonders what kid of pet he may get - a hippo that skates on ice, a goat with 10 legs, and a goldfish with antlers are just a few of the crazy pets Henry thinks up in his imaginative brain.
The next day, Henry's parents take him to the animal shelter where he immediately falls in love with a puppy with brown spots! I gotta admit, Henry sounds like my kind of kid! Henry names the dog Hap - short for Happy - and the two instantly become best pals. The end of the story lets us know that even when we are lonely or sad, God knows it and he will provide friendship and companionship and healing for us, even if it comes in the form of a most loyal companion - a puppy. I love a phrase that is written on the book jacket - "So, you're pretty special, and that's guaranteed, maybe you're the new friend, that somebody needs." I think it's such a great lesson for young and old alike that we could be the friend that someone needs in their life.
Maybe I'm a little biased because I'm a dog lover, but I think this book is just wonderful. The book is written in rhyme so it flows very easily off the lips of the reader and I personally think rhyming words make it much more fun for children to follow along. The story is cute from start to finish and the pictures are well illustrated and are sure to make your kiddos laugh - especially when Henry is imagining up all sorts of crazy pets as his new friend.
"Henry Hodges Needs a Friend" is available from many retailers, including Amazon, for around $12. I encourage you to check it out for your little one.