Henry, Like Always by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song

Published by Chronicle Books

Summary:  Henry, featured in the 2019 picture book A Friend for Henry, likes the routine and predictability of his classroom.  Mrs. Tanaka has a weekly schedule posted, and Henry feels comfortable when it stays the same.  When she announces a parade on Friday, pushing sharing to Thursday, Henry struggles to cope with the change.  His feelings of dread grow through the week as the class prepares for the parade.  By Friday morning, he needs to give Mrs. Tanaka his Quiet Card, which entitles him to some time alone in the big closet.  There he discovers the hat that his classmate Samuel is going to wear to lead the parade.  Samuel would rather play the tambourine that Henry has been assigned, and Henry likes the soft pressure of the hat that covers his ears and protects him from some of the noise.  A trade is made, and both boys are able to happily participate in the parade.  48 pages; grades 1-3.

Pros:  An excellent early chapter book that sympathetically portrays a character who appears to be on the autism spectrum and provides a realistic glimpse into his classroom.  Mrs. Tanaka is a kind teacher who accommodates Henry but also expects him to be part of the classroom community.  This is billed as book 1, so we can look forward to more books about Henry.

Cons:  Henry’s new hat looks like it completely covers his eyes.

2 thoughts on “Henry, Like Always by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song

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