When Henry ignores his school’s loud bells and continues to read a mesmerizing book, chaos ensues—and several inept adults attempt to remedy the situation.
Readers will identify with Henry when he tries to read “the most awesome book about a bike” and is interrupted, first in the library and then after recess. When the lunch bell rings, Henry, for the first time in his young life, decides to ignore it and “just stay put.” So far, readers have observed a reasonably well-behaved group of cartoonlike children representing many ethnicities. Both Henry and Ms. Sabio, his teacher, have light brown skin and dark hair, though his is straight and hers is tightly curled. Funny, subtle details emerge early, such as a student picking their nose. Next, the text and artwork become silly to the point of laughter, as Henry’s refusal to leave his book causes a messy chain reaction in the cafeteria, where the food meant for Henry’s tray instead goes “SPLOT!—onto the floor.” One elected official after another each demands louder bells, which cause increasingly more mayhem. As children and adults scatter and various classroom objects implode, Henry reads on. Finally, Ms. Sabio, who was rudely interrupted by the mayor when she tried to explain why Henry stayed put, saves the day with a simple solution.
A zany, rollicking story with hilarious illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8)