Children's, Cleary-Beverly, Family dynamics, Feel-Good, Fiction

#607 Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Henry Huggins by Beverly ClearyHenry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Henry’s life is fairly normal, he just wishes something would happen. One day he’s at the store when a scrawny dog comes up to him. Henry feeds the dog part of his ice cream, but the dog won’t leave him alone. From the looks of it, the dog does not have an owner and is a stray. Henry calls his mom and asks her if he can keep the dog. She says it’s ok, but Henry has to get the dog home on the bus.

Well, the bus driver won’t let the dog on the bus, unless he’s in a box. The next bus driver says a box isn’t good enough. Henry then covers Ribsy, as he has decided to call the dog, up and tries the next bus. Ribsy breaks free and commotion ensues. Henry is kicked off the bus, but some nice police officers take him home.

Henry and Ribsy become good friends and Henry even enters him into a dog show, which he wins. It’s not a special dog show or anything. Another boy sees Ribsy in the newspaper and says it’s his dog. The two boys determine that they should let Ribsy decide. Ribsy picks Henry.

What I liked

Who hasn’t brought a dog home? Actually, a lot of people apparently, but it’s always fun to read stories about how this found dog turns life upside down in the new house. What does the dog get into? What problems does it cause with friends, family members, and neighbors?

I liked the bus episode. It’s humorous what Henry does to try to get Ribsy onto the bus. It’s just one thing after the other and each episode gets a little funnier.

What I didn’t like

I can’t particularly say there’s anything just awful about this book, but I really don’t like how old-fashioned some of the things in the book are. The money is the particular issue. Henry can buy tons of stuff for less than a dollar. You know what I can buy for less than a dollar? Nothing. I can buy nothing. I know it’s the whole idea of inflation, but it’s just not comforting to think that my money means so little as compared to when this book was written.


Henry and Ribsy are sure to have a lot of fun.

Weigh In

Would your mother have allowed you to bring home a dog?

Do you think you could manage to get a dog on a bus?


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