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|Friend for Henry|
Author: Bailey, Jenn
Henry would like to find a friend at school, but for a boy on the autism spectrum, making friends can be difficult, as his efforts are sometimes misinterpreted, or things just go wrong--but Henry keeps trying, and in the end he finds a friend he can play with.
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/19)
School Library Journal (02/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/05/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2019 Henry, a young boy on the autism spectrum, would like a friend. He appreciates people who are quiet, share his sense of orderliness, and won’t invade his personal space. Gilly the goldfish is quiet, but she can’t really play; Vivian flashes rainbow fingernails in his face, but complains when Henry makes a rainbow of her paints; and Samuel turns Henry’s perfectly aligned carpet squares into a disorderly magic carpet. Luckily, Henry notices Katie, who enjoys watching Gilly do fish things, is happy to build a block tower that excludes the triangles Henry can’t bear, and loves swinging at the playground with Henry. Bailey’s debut picture book allows readers to empathize with a child who, despite overt differences, has needs that are much the same as everyone else’s. Song’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict a multiethnic, play-centered school. The cartoon art includes many familiar classroom details and works well in conveying Henry’s emotional frustrations. As the number of diagnosed children on the autistic spectrum increases, so does the need for informative and positive presentations such as this. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2019 PreS-Gr 1—Henry is looking for a friend who is quiet, shares, and likes to read. Making friends can be difficult for anyone, but it is especially hard for Henry. He misreads social situations, believing that because a classmate has rainbow-painted nails, she would enjoy having her shoes painted. He lines the reading carpet squares up perfectly and melts down when another classmate's rambunctious, imaginative play disrupts the squares. One by one, classmates are ruled out as potential friends—until Katie. Katie is quiet and likes to read, too. However, Katie slides down the big slide, something Henry would never do. Still, the two bond over their love for the class fish, and Henry takes a chance and asks Katie to play with him. They play together both indoors and out, leading Henry to the realization that friends don't have to be exactly alike to appreciate each other. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations show a diverse classroom. Henry is Asian and Katie is African American. It is never stated that Henry has autism, but his actions and thought processes will be familiar to readers who know someone on the autism spectrum. VERDICT A simple, upbeat story that might inspire readers to seek out friendship, and a good addition to general picture book collections.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.