I’m sure there are times when you’ve read a book and felt a flood of emotions? I was exactly like this reading A Friend For Henry. Though simplistic in its storyline, the thoughts behind each turn of page are very powerful.
Written by Jenn Bailey and illustrated by Mika Song, A Friend For Henry is a book, I believe, should be shared with all.
Henry is a young boy who wants to find a friend in his class. There are number of children in his class that Henry would be happy to be friends with but as the day progresses he realises that finding a friend can be tricky.
During Art Class he observes a young girl who “…was a kaleidoscope, a tangle of colors.” He notices her colourful painted nails but Henry is surprised that the girls Mummy didn’t get into trouble for doing such a thing. With this in mind, as he now understands, the young girls likes rainbows, he paints her shoes. Of course Henry thought she would have been pleased but the girl is left feeling rather angry.
There are a few things that happen in the day where readers are able to understand how these actions, moments, choices, make Henry feel. You are able to understand his thought process and no where in the book does it label Henry but Henry is in fact autistic. His best efforts of making a friend are sadly, at times, misunderstood . That is until he meets Katie.
Henry does find a way to build a friendship and the story reassuringly continues to tell readers that the friendship made continues on to the next day.
Jenn Bailey was inspired to write this book after watching her own son trying to form a friendship as he too, like Henry, is on the autism spectrum. Together with Mika Song’s illustrious which are soft and expressive this is such a brilliant read. As a teacher and a mother I would highly recommend this book. I think it is a wonderful insight into each of us being unique and a charming read into building a friendship.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers however, all words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.