School Library Journal
In the first book, four short chapters follow Henry as he tries to have a perfect day (and upstages his brother, Perfect Peter), disrupts a dance recital with his imitation of a pterodactyl, meets his piratical match in neighbor Moody Margaret, and sabotages a family camping vacation. In the second book, he constructs a time machine from a box and tricks his brother into believing it really does send him into the future, discovers surprises at a fancy French restaurant (he likes snails!), ruins a family walk in the country, and finds himself the target of his brother's revenge. Short, easy-to-read chapters will appeal to early readers, who will laugh at Henry's exaggerated antics and relate to his rambunctious personality. The boy always seems to end up getting what he wants-though in roundabout ways-and this series will most likely be as popular in the United States as it has been in Britain. Ross's comical illustrations perfectly complement the texts.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Read an Excerpt
Horrid Henry flicked the switch. The time machine whirred. Dials spun. Buttons pulsed. Latches locked. Horrid Henry Time Traveler was ready for blastoff!
Now, where to go, where to go?
Dinosaurs, thought Henry. Yes! Henry loved dinosaurs. He would love to stalk a few Tyrannosaurus Rexes as they rampaged through the primordial jungle.
But what about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? "Arise, Sir Henry," King Arthur would say, kicking Lancelot out of his chair. "Sure thing, King," Sir Henry would reply, twirling his sword. "Out of my way, worms!"
Or what about the siege of Troy?
Heroic Henry, that's who he'd be, the fearless fighter dashing about doing daring deeds.
Tempting, thought Henry. Very tempting.
Wait a sec, what about visiting the future, where school was banned and parents had to do whatever their children told them? Where everyone had their own spaceship and ate candy for dinner.
And where King Henry the Horrible ruled supreme, chopping off the head of anyone who dared to say no to him.
To the future, thought Henry, setting the dial.
Henry braced himself for the jolt into hyperspace10, 9, 8, 7, 6
"Henry, it's my turn."
Horrid Henry ignored the alien's whine.5, 4, 3
"Henry! If you don't share I'm going to tell Mom."
AAAARRRRGGGHHHHHH. The Time Machine shuddered to a halt. Henry climbed out.
"Go away, Peter," said Henry. "You're ruining everything."
"But it's my turn."
"Mom said we could both play with the box," said Peter. "We could cut out windows, make a little house, paint flowers"
"NO!" screeched Henry.
"But..." said Peter. He stood in the living room, holding his scissors and crayons.
"Don't you touch my box!" hissed Henry.
"I will if I want to," said Peter. "And it's not yours." Henry had no right to boss him around, thought Peter. He'd been waiting such a long time for his turn. Well,
he wasn't waiting any longer. He'd start cutting out a window this minute. Peter got out his scissors.
"Stop! It's a time machine, you toad!" shrieked Henry.
Peter stared at the huge cardboard box.
A time machine? A time machine? How could it be a time machine?
"It is not," said Peter.
"Is too," said Henry.
"But it's made of cardboard," said Peter.
"And the washing machine came in it." Henry sighed.
"Don't you know anything? If it looked like a time machine everyone would try to steal it. It's a time machine in disguise."
Peter looked at the time machine. On the one hand he didn't believe Henry for one minute. This was just one of Henry's tricks. Peter was a hundred million billion percent certain Henry was lying.
On the other hand, what if Henry was telling the truth for once and there was a real time machine in his living room?
"If it is a time machine, I want to have a turn," said Peter.
"You can't. You're too young," said Henry.
Perfect Peter stuck out his bottom lip.
"I don't believe you anyway." Horrid Henry was outraged.
"Okay, I'll prove it. I'll go to the future right now. Stand back. Don't move."
Horrid Henry leaped into the box and closed the lid. The Time Machine began to shudder and shake.
Then everything was still for a very long time.
Perfect Peter didn't know what to do.
What if Henry was goneforever? What if he were stuck in the future?
I could have his room, thought Peter.