Monday, October 7, 2013

Henry's Hand

Booklist (October 1, 2013 (Vol. 110, No. 3))

Preschool-Grade 1. So this is strange. Henry, a fellow who looks like a cross between Frankenstein and Al Capone, keeps losing pieces of himself. An eye rolls under the couch; a leg disappears. But Henry’s right hand, also independent, is a worker, fetching the newspaper or changing the TV channel. Finally, though, Hand has had enough and hitches a ride into the city; Henry is left to fend for himself. The city has mean streets, but Hand’s fortune changes when he pulls a man from a car’s path and becomes a hero. Fame and wealth follow, but life in a house of servants seems a bit useless. Meanwhile, Henry has learned to take care of himself, but he is lonely. A letter from Henry brings Hand home with a new friend for their new life. The writing is conventional, but the story has a good message about friendship. It’s MacDonald’s wonderful retro-style artwork, however, that will rightfully get all the attention. It’s the sort that draws both children and adults, who will be charmed by the offbeat protagonists. Beautifully designed, too, this will be fun to read.

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