The grand genius summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760293017
(Age: Yrs 2-4) Recommended. Henry Hoobler is a boy with worries. He is travelling with his family on a camping holiday but would rather stay at home with Nonna and not have to think about all the things that could go wrong or have to face the challenge of learning to ride the ominous new bike that is coming along on the holiday too.
His older brother Patch is more concerned with his music and his younger sister Lulu is obsessed with her toy ponies.
But holidays can bring new experiences and change and one of the first people he meets is Cassie who whizzes past him on her dragster, confident, self assured and friendly.
Supported by a caring, loving family, Henry gradually learns to face his concerns. He becomes good friends with Cassie, who has her own family issues and together they have a 'grand genius summer'.
I enjoyed the characters in this novel and was often laughing at the antics and comments of Lulu, Henry's preschool sister. Henry's internal thoughts highlight the importance of trying new things even if they are scary and he observes that confident people have their own fears and issues to deal with too.
Lisa Shanahan is able to write about the everyday happenings of families, friends and fears that children think about about and identify with.
The cover is bright and cheery and shows Henry and Cassie the main two characters, riding their bikes together, a major highlight and achievement for Henry.
Henry is in the summer holiday break before he starts year 3 so this novel would be a great story to read to years 2-4.
This is a good book and I would recommend this novel for purchase for your library.
Jane Moore