Horrid Henry so, well, horrid

(76 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 03:58:35

DS is only 2.6 but was bought a box set of Horrid Henry books by a well-meaning Aunt.
He opened the gift and we said "they'll be put away for later" but he wanted to look and have one read to him. So we did. Mistake! Now he is obsessed with them and has already started saying "hate you" etc that HH says.

Anyway, it's easily fixed at this age as we've just hidden them all and he's forgotten about them. But the point was - they are bloody horrible books! I must be at my pearl-clutching best but Henry behaves in an awful way, with no consequences to his actions and always gets what he wants. Speaks to his parents/brother awfully.

I can't envisage a time that I want those books out of hiding!

Littlefish Mon 22-Jul-13 06:40:52

I felt like that when dd was a similar age. However, she's 8 now and loves them! She's olds enough to discuss them and talk about the behaviour of all the characters, including the role of the parents in Henry's behaviour. Just put them away for now and get them out again in 4 or 5 years and see how you feel. smile

OhTiger Mon 22-Jul-13 06:52:54

They are banned in my house, as is the tv programme. Lots of friends say the same. Horrid, indeed.

nkf Mon 22-Jul-13 07:12:19

They are wonderful, I think. It never occurred to me to even consider banning them. They are funny. Think of them as the modern Just William stories. Or the precursor to the teenager Kevin.

They are not morality tales. That is true. Personally - and this may be over-analysis - I think they appeal to the naughty child in all of us. Horrid Henry is the monster of selfishness we all would be if we could get away with it.

Franup Mon 22-Jul-13 07:21:29

If you read them in detail you will see that 3 out of 4 stories, Henry's monstrous plans and actions all backfire. A good example is the story where Henry, who hates reading and doing homework, massively cheats to win a book report writing competition at School because there will be a prize for the one who reads the most books. He does manage to win and the prize is a trip to a book fair!

Then every so often the circumstances are such, normally when he has been treated unfairly, that he wins out!

They are fun and very broadly drawn, so very easy to read to kids with an air

Franup Mon 22-Jul-13 07:23:42

Sorry pressed post

An air of "we know Henry is naughty" and then watch the antics unfold.

Banning seems a bit harsh! And I would worry if my kids couldn't see grey areas of how we act and don't act,

lljkk Netherlands Mon 22-Jul-13 07:45:10

You should read the interviews with Francesca Simon. She says the same. The whole ironic comedy of the books is how the adults create the situation with Perfect Peter, etc. Kids seem to get it, just not some parents!!
Come your child is 6-9yo and has zero interest in reading anything else, you'll be grateful for HH. Mark my words.

throckenholt Mon 22-Jul-13 08:41:13

I found them tedious - I could see the humour of the situation but I didn't like them (but then I hated Thomas Tank, Mr Men and loads of other kids books !).

Luckily they didn't grab my kids much so we didn't have a big craze for them.

DeWe Mon 22-Jul-13 09:59:24

I find the whole set up nasty. I haven't banned them, but my girls didn't find them very interesting, and ds is more into fact or beast quest, which I'm thankful for.

You have his parents who are so nasty to Henry you sympathise with him misbehaving, and favouring Peter so obviously. If tbey were real, then I'm sure there would be lots of AIBU threads about them.

Henry, who is meant to be naughty, but I disagree with the poster upthread who said they usually backfire on him. I'd say stories often finish with his parents going "HENRY! GO TO YOUR ROOM", but Henry didn't mind because XYZ...

The comparison with William is that William is often dreadfully bad, but with the best of intentions. Often his intentions are off, but he still means well. Henry is often deliberately bad, going out of his way to deliberately upset people, or spoil things.
To give an example, Sport's day at school. Peter has been asked to bring hard boiled eggs for the egg and spoon race. Henry deliberately swaps them for non-cooked ones, getting Peter into trouble when they break during the race. In Williams case, he would have seen the eggs sitting there and thought "those eggs are too small," gone round to find bigger eggs and not thought about the hardboiled/raw aspect.

OhTiger Mon 22-Jul-13 13:55:15

They are banned not because I think they are wrong, but because the way my children started to speak after reading them became really unpleasant, the word 'banned' sounds harsh, I haven't burned them on a pyre in the garden or anything, just quietly given away the one we had and not bought any more. There are plenty of other books that we all love for them to read.

the TV programme Tracy Beaker is also off limits for similar reasons, although they can read the books. I just don't like how my DD's mimic the behaviour they see. It's my tv, in my house and they are my children, so I feel perfectly entitled to say what goes smile

Poledra Mon 22-Jul-13 13:58:31

We were given some Horrid Henry audio CDs. Those I have banned, as 6-yo DD2's behaviour deteriorated considerably as she modelled her vocabulary and tone on Henry. The books don't seem to have the same effect but I'm still not keen.

chicaguapa Mon 22-Jul-13 14:02:45

I have mixed feelings.

The early reader versions of these books unlocked DS's love of reading but we did eventually have to ban him from reading them as it did affect his behaviour and he was reading them obsessively. We told him that he was beginning to behave like HH and that he could only read them if he could behave like PP. grin He agreed that they were inspiring him to be naughty so stopped reading them for a bit.

They are still on his shelf and he dips into them occasionally but now he's older (8) he can see the irony, but couldn't when he started.

Periwinkle007 Mon 22-Jul-13 21:59:29

I don't like them and we don't have any, we have avoided them so far and I hope we can continue to do so.

freetrait Mon 22-Jul-13 22:52:19

DS really enjoyed them/still enjoys them. They are great for early readers, age 5-8 or so. He has now moved on to an obsession with Horrible Histories, so the other HH books are taking a back seat. I have, however, bought him the new one for the Summer holiday. I'm not sure about the "affecting behaviour" argument. Seems odd to me, I wouldn't ban my kids from the Beano or watching Dennis and Gnasher and they certainly haven't misbehaved from HH (either).

MrButtercat Wed 24-Jul-13 18:23:13

My 3 very avid readers loved them.They got all 3 hooked.

I think they're great and found some of them hilarious.Miranda Richardson reading the Demon Dinner Lady is genius.

Can't believe some posters parenting skills are so weak they feel the need to ban.

<news flash kids love naughty,gross and rude>

<Hums the bottom song- 1 bottom,2 bottom,3 bottom more>

Periwinkle007 Wed 24-Jul-13 22:34:22

I don't think my parenting skills are so bad I need to ban them I just don't like the books and would rather my kids were encouraged to read something else. some parents ban rainbow fairies - I don't mind them. if my kids wanted to read HH then I wouldn't stop them but I would prefer them to read other stuff. They are currently on Paddington, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, Milly Molly Mandy and the Bullerby Children.

earthmother33 Wed 24-Jul-13 22:37:42

Yes, i kind of agree. my dds 3 and 5 love them but my 3 yr old has started to call her sister "worm" and "smelly nappy baby". my ds loved them, he is now 14 and its never changed his behaviour, neither my 5 yr olds but 3 yr old seems to want to be him!!

GoshAnneGorilla Algeria Thu 25-Jul-13 02:00:23

DeWe - You have reminded me of exactly why I loved the Just William books so much as a child. A lot of it was William's exasperation at the illogical rules of adults. smile

MrButtercat Thu 25-Jul-13 08:30:59

Peri but it isn't about you.

To become avid readers kids need to enjoy the books they're reading,kids enjoy HH.

A non HH world is kind of sterile imvho.

Periwinkle007 Thu 25-Jul-13 10:08:41

no it isn't about me but I am responsible for how I bring my children up. They are advanced readers for their ages so I feel I do have to keep an eye on the content of what they read. As I say they both disliked Horrid Henry when we tried watching it on TV - I didn't know anything about it and they were the ones saying they didn't like it, nothing to do with me so it actually isn't a problem in our household, they just would prefer animals, fairies or magic ponies or something. They both love reading and I have no concerns about that at the ages of 4 and 5.

They don't live in a sterile environment at all, they just don't need Horrid Henry in their lives at the moment.

It suits some people and not others, personally I find Horrid Henry quite different to Just William or The Naughtiest Girl in the School. Not sure why but I think it has a lot to do with the name calling etc in it.

chicaguapa Thu 25-Jul-13 13:14:43

DS can't eat chocolate before bed or he's bouncing off the walls. Is it bad parenting that we ban eating chocolate before bedtime or is it bad parenting that chocolate has this affect on him? hmm

Good parenting is identifying the cause of bad behaviour and addressing it. If that involves removing an undesirable influence, so be it.

MrButtercat Fri 26-Jul-13 22:23:41

I thought parenting is teaching children that bad behaviour isn't except able ie they know not to name call and are able to read a book without copying.If they need the book removed,they haven't learnt.

Mine were early readers too,they didn't resort to any of HH antics although they did rename their teddies Mr Kill.

Periwinkle007 Sat 27-Jul-13 09:22:39

true but then I don't think mine would copy it anyway, they know acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

I just don't see why they need to be exposed to books like that at such a young age.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 27-Jul-13 09:34:07

DS loves Horrid Henry

I always thought the point of them is that they are written from his perspective in that he sees Peter being treated differently (who hasn't felt the absolute injustice of a sibling getting preferential treatment?), feels that the world (parents, teacher) is out to get him etc.

fuzzpig Sat 27-Jul-13 09:39:24

I've never read them or watched the show, but so far my DD doesn't like choosing books herself - quite happy for me to bring stuff home from the library where I work - so I haven't picked them up. No Rainbow Fairy type stuff either.

I was planning on reading the Just William books when she's a bit bigger though, I loved them.

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