Henry is a bundle of toddler energy who enters into every activity with great enthusiasm.
He is a whirlwind of perpetual motion as his family gamely attempts to keep up with him. His father lifts him up until his arms are sore, but Henry asks for more. Grandma plays the piano and sings Henry’s favorite song, while Henry sings and claps and shouts, “AGAIN!” (Everything’s in uppercase for Henry.) Big sister Lucy patiently plays endless games until she is wiped out, but Henry calls for more. Big brother Charlie pulls him in a wagon and races with him back and forth, up and down the street, until he can’t move another inch—and Henry wants another ride. More games, tickles, and songs ensue, leaving everyone thoroughly exhausted. Mama reads one bedtime story after another, until Henry finally falls asleep, to receive one more kiss from everyone as he slumbers. Ashman’s tale is simple and cozy. There is no sense that Henry is spoiled or temperamental. His parents and siblings adore him, and he responds joyfully to the love that surrounds him. Hughes’ softly hued, detailed illustrations depict a loving, biracial (African-American mom, Caucasian dad), multigenerational family whose facial expressions and body language add humor and dimension to the text.
This toddler and his insatiable appetite for stimulation will charm readers of almost every age. (Picture book. 2-7)