Kevin Henkes – From Board Books to Novels
Almost every school teacher in the country knows Kevin Henkes and has exposed their students to his wonderful PICTURE BOOKS. Book like Chrysanthemum, Wemberly Worried, Julius Baby of the World, and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse have delighted young readers everywhere. Owen won Kevin a Caldecott Honor while Kitten’s First Full Moon won him a Caldecott. Not a bad career, I’d say. But did you know he now has 3 wonderful BEGINNING READERS? I love each of them – they are: Penny and Her Doll, Penny and Her Marble, and Penny and Her Song. I hope he keeps them coming in this series. His BOARD BOOKS start little ones off by introducing them to some of his most famous characters – Lilly, Wemberly, Sheila Rae, Owen, and Julius – in delightfully simple tales. But it doesn’t stop there. Henkes has also won a Newbery Honor for one of his many terrific novels, Olive’s Ocean. Other great ones include Sun & Spoon, Words of Stone, and his newest one, The Year of Billy Miller. Billy Miller is a rising second grader who is convinved that he will not be able to handle second grade. On a family trip that included a visit to the statue of the Jolly GreenGiant, Billy’s hat is carried off by the wind. When he leans out a bit too far to catch it, he falls and lands on his head. He overhears his parents talking with concern about him in the car when they leave the hospital and whether the trauma to his head might leave long time damage. Billy is a completely normal (the head is AOK) second grader who worries a bit more than he should. It’s a terrific read and one that would make a great class read aloud.