Henry's Heart: A Boy, His Heart, and a New Best Friend

Overview

Henry (and his heart) are perfectly happy playing indoors. But Henry’s mom encourages him to go for a walk outside. Soon, Henry’s heart starts beating faster. Is Henry riding a rollercoaster? Is he doing jumping jacks? What could be making Henry's heart beat faster?

 

In this engaging, informative story, children learn about the many ways the heart functions within the body, and how what we see, hear, and feel can directly affect our heart rate (like falling in love with a ...

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Overview

Henry (and his heart) are perfectly happy playing indoors. But Henry’s mom encourages him to go for a walk outside. Soon, Henry’s heart starts beating faster. Is Henry riding a rollercoaster? Is he doing jumping jacks? What could be making Henry's heart beat faster?

 

In this engaging, informative story, children learn about the many ways the heart functions within the body, and how what we see, hear, and feel can directly affect our heart rate (like falling in love with a puppy!). Henry's Heart leads him to the best gift ever—woof woof!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As Harper (Cupcake) points out, if we gave the objects of our affection valentines in the shapes of actual hearts, the response would most likely be “Ewww! What is that thing?” Nonetheless, Harper offers up a heroic heart that looks a lot like the real thing “without the eyes and mouth, of course,” and he’s an immensely appealing figure, ideal for teaching readers about this important organ. Henry’s heart is chatty, vigilant, and authoritative; when something isn’t to his liking, he shoots a question up to the eyes like a commanding general to a field scout. But what starts out as a biological overview led by an engaging, unlikely character and packed with funny asides turns into a bit of a narrative mess, with Henry plunging into depression because he can’t have a dog. The solution is equally, well, halfhearted: Henry and his doctor have “a nice long chat,” and Henry gets the dog. Harper’s acrylic illustrations never lose their pertness or energy, but a book that promises to be both whimsical and wise winds up woolly and confused. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“The whimsically crafted tale features not only a pleasingly goofy cartoon cast but also some very clever misdirection in the “love story” episode, which is certain to elicit groans and giggles.” —BCCB

 

“Harper offers up a heroic heart that looks a lot like the real thing “without the eyes and mouth, of course,” and he’s an immensely appealing figure, ideal for teaching readers about this important organ.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“This clever book is an excellent choice for story hours and primary-grade classrooms.” -School Library Journal

 

“…a genius pairing of fiction and nonfiction.” -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson Davis
Henry has a heart inside of his body. And so do you. This book uses clever illustrations and random talking points to teach all about a heart. The first thing to learn is taught with a beautiful, more realistic than a Valentine's Day heart, illustration of what a heart really looks like. The book moves on to teach things such as exercise and healthy eating habits. The end of the story talks about how Henry's heart became sick because he was in love with a puppy that he could not have. In the end Henry's parents help him to feel better by purchasing the puppy for him. The illustrations in this book play an integral part in teaching the facts. After reading this book, children should have a greater understanding of the function of the heart, how it works in their own bodies, and the things they can do to help keep their own hearts healthy. The clever side comments and illustrations will captivate young minds. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson Davis
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Henry and his body are a team. His eyes and heart keep track of his activities to make sure he is getting enough exercise and eating the proper foods. When his heart feels that he is in love with a brown-haired girl, his eyes tell a different story. He has fallen for a little brown puppy. "Broken-hearted" when his father says no to adopting it, Henry slides into a slump. No exercise, no appetite, just sadness. Eyes and heart know something is wrong. So does Mom. She takes him to the doctor, who has a chat with the boy. A prescription is given, but Henry notices that Mom drives right past the pharmacy. Instead, his dad arrives with a puppy. A clever mix of fiction and nonfiction, this story weaves facts about the heart, healthy eating, and exercise into the narrative through conversations between Henry's heart and eyes. Humorous cartoon illustrations and charts about eating, feelings, and things that make a heart beat faster are also informative. This clever book is an excellent choice for storyhours and primary-grade classrooms.—Nancy Baumann, University of Missouri-Columbia, MO
Kirkus Reviews
Tongue-in-cheek, label-happy humor reminiscent of Mélanie Watts abounds in Harper's latest, a genius pairing of fiction and nonfiction. Starting off with some X-ray views of a young boy and his heart, readers are presented with some facts and misconceptions about the human heart, made painless by the humorous speech-bubble asides from Henry's sister and friends. One fact above all is emphasized--a healthy heart that pumps blood and removes waste requires exercise and proper nutrition. Therefore, Henry's mother sends him outside for some fresh air, and his Dad invites him for a walk downtown…the fateful walk on which he first sees the love of his life. She sets his heart beating so wildly that the anthropomorphized organ has to ask Henry's eyes what is going on to cause such a reaction. Leaving the puppy in the pet store seems to break poor Henry's spirit--he can only mope in his room, while his heart bemoans the lack of exercise. Henry's concerned parents finally consult a doctor, whose prescription pleases everyone, especially Henry's exercise-starved heart. Harper's acrylic-and-collage artwork with its filled-in stick figures is a perfect match for the irreverent humor of the text. From the amusing asides to the charts about healthy snacks and causes of rapid heartbeats, there will be few page turns unaccompanied by laughter. The story should please those hopeful readers who are puppy-starved themselves, while the learning hidden within should set parents' and educators' hearts aflutter. (Informational picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805089899
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 537,168
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Charise Mericle Harper has created many books for children, including the popular Fashion Kitty series and the Just Grace books. She has also illustrated Ralph’s World Rocks! by Ralph Covert. She lives in Mamaroneck, New York, with her family. [www.chariseharper.com]

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