Thursday, October 1, 2009

Henry and Mudge, A Great Early Reader Series

Henry And Mudge First Book
Written by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Sucie Stevenson
Recommended Ages: 4-8

It's hard to believe that I have not yet written about Cynthia Rylant. She is a prolific writer (over 100 books) and one of my favorite children's authors. She's written picture books, early readers, poetry, middle grade and young adult novels. She's won the Newbery and many other awards in a career that spans just 27 years.

One series of hers that all of my kids loved when they were learning to read was Henry and Mudge. They are considered early chapter books, but they also have wonderful illustrations to move the reader along (perfect for the child who is not quite ready for a full-blown chapter book).

The story in each of the books is usually pretty simple. In the first book, we are introduced to Henry. He is a little boy who lives with his mom and dad. He has no brothers and sisters, and lives in a neighborhood with no other children to play with. He's lonely. Finally his parents get him a puppy--Mudge. Mudge starts off as a tiny little thing, only to end up as a 180-pound best friend to Henry. Their friendship is what all 28 Henry and Mudge books is centered around.

The text is simple and straightforward. Each book is divided into chapters (three or four, usually), which help the child feel like they are reading a real chapter book. The pace is perfect for the newly emergent reader, and the length of each book feels just right. If you have a child who is just cracking the reading code, or a reluctant reader, I highly recommend the Henry and Mudge Series.

Here's a list of all of the books. It's wonderful to see that Cynthia Rylant continues to add to the series. There are at least ten new books since my kids last read them.
  1. Henry and Mudge: The First Book (1987)
  2. Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble (1987)
  3. Henry and Mudge in the Green Time (1987)
  4. Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon (1987)
  5. Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days (1988)
  6. Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea (1989)
  7. Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers (1989)
  8. Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat (1990)
  9. Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps (1991)
  10. Hanry and Mudge Take the Big Test (1991)
  11. Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend (1992)
  12. Henry and Mudge and the Wild Wind (1993)
  13. Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin (1994)
  14. Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All (1995)
  15. Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees (September 1998)
  16. Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers (February 1999)
  17. Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night (May 1999)
  18. Henry and Mudge and Annie's Good Move (January 2000)
  19. Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan (October 2000)
  20. Henry and Mudge and Annie's Perfect Pet (February 2001)
  21. Henry and Mudge and the Tall Tree House (December 2003)
  22. Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House (January 2004)
  23. Henry and Mudge and the Wild Goose Chase (April 2004)
  24. Henry and Mudge and the Funny Lunch (April 2005)
  25. Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas (October 2005)
  26. Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas (June 2006)
  27. Henry and Mudge and the Tumbling Trip (October 2006)
  28. Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover (May 2007)

1 comment:

Dawn VanderMeer said...

I love HENRY AND MUDGE--and Cynthia Rylant, of course. We almost named our first dog Mudge! :)