Thursday, February 1, 2018

Henry and Mudge

Henry and Mudge The First Book. Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Sucie Stevenson. 1987. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Henry had no brothers and no sisters. "I want a brother," he told his parents. "Sorry," they said. Henry had no friends on his street. "I want to live on a different street," he told his parents. "Sorry," they said. Henry had no pets at home. "I want to have a dog," he told his parents. "Sorry," they almost said. But first they looked at their house with no brothers and sisters. Then they looked at their street with no children. Then they looked at Henry's face. Then they looked at each other.

Premise/plot: Henry and his dog Mudge star in Cynthia Rylant's early chapter book series. This is the first book in the series. It is about when Henry gets Mudge, or, perhaps when Mudge gets Henry. It is about what they mean to each other. Later chapters in this book explore this devotion. Mudge learns a lesson about staying close to home.

My thoughts: I really adore Cynthia Rylant's work. What do I love? I love her writing, her narrative style, her pacing. There's something delightful about her phrasing. "Every day when Henry woke up, he saw Mudge's big head. And every day when Mudge woke up, he saw Henry's small face."

I don't know that it would be fair to compare Henry and Mudge with the Mr. Putter and Tabby series. I'm glad both exist.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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