About the Holiday
Each year since 1967 Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday has served as the date for Children’s Book Day. The International Board on Books for Young People, a non-profit organization founded in Zurich, sponsors the day to promote a love of reading. Seventy-five National Sections around the world alternate in hosting the event. The host for 2016 is Brazil, and this year’s theme is “Once Upon a Time.” A prominent author and illustrator from the sponsoring country prepare materials used to raise awareness of books and reading. Luciana Sandroni wrote this year’s message and the poster was designed by Ziraldo.
Children’s Book Day is celebrated with special events in schools and libraries, writing competitions, book awards, and opportunities to meet authors and illustrators.
Written and Drawn by Henrietta
Henrietta’s mom gives her a new box of colored pencils, which Henrietta says is “as close as you can get to owning a piece of the rainbow.” She sits down to draw her own book and titles it “The Monster with Three Heads and Two Hats.” She begins with an illustration of a little girl, Emily, in bed at night. “I’m scaring myself…,” she thinks. Her thought is played out in her next page which shows Emily asking her stuffed rabbit if it will sleep with her because she’s scared of an unexplained Creak, Creak.
“Hmm…What’s that noise?” ponders the young writer. Her fears make it to the page—Creeak…Creeak…Thump…Crash…Boom. What are those noises, my favorite? Emily asks, her eyes now wide. The Noises! They’re getting closer!!
Henrietta knows that in a good story something always happens “suddenly,” and so she draws a mysterious hand and a mysterious foot emerging from Emily’s wardrobe. The plot thickens and finally the full terrifying monster with three heads pops out of the wardrobe.
They acquire names from Henrietta’s imagination—Huey, Dewey, and Louie Bluie. . She is stuck for a bit as to how to go on, then gives Emily a question: What were you doing inside my wardrobe? The monster answers that it is looking for a hat. Emily joins them in their search, entering her wardrobe. She’s aghast to find that it is full of…clothes! (The wardrobe had been made in Narnia, the well-read Henrietta tells her cat, Fellini).
When the monster and Emily wonder which way to go, they meet a direction-giving mouse, and the story takes off—even Henrietta can’t wait to see what happens. She draws a huge pile of hats (she’s learned about “hat-o-logy” from the encyclopedia—the printed version!). The creature’s two heads with hats begs the third head to choose a hat before “the monster” shows up. Emily is terrified again—Another monster? What has Henrietta concocted this time? A monster with one head and three hats! This horrible beast suddenly appears and chases the crew through the wardrobe. Everyone is shouting Aaaaaaaaaaa—even the author.
Emily and the first monster lose the tremendous beast, ask the direction-giving mouse how to escape, and burst out of the wardrobe just in time. Henrietta thinks the story should have a happy ending, and before the monster with three heads and now three hats flies out the window, they give Emily a present. What could it be? Henrietta is so curious! It’s a wonderful hat, of course!
“Now,” Henrietta says, “to find a publisher!”
This Toon Book by Liniers is a wonder as it reveals the inner-workings of children’s imaginations and the spontaneous nature of their brilliant creativity. Henrietta’s thought process as she conjures up her story is shown in neat comic-style panels with speech bubbles, while her story is depicted in colorful kid-like drawings and dialogue written in all capital letters. This interplay between the young artist/writer and her work enhances the fun, suspense, and surprise of this story-within-a-story.
Ages 5 and up
TOON Books, and imprint of RAW Junior, LLC, 2015 | ISBN 978-1935179900
International Children’s Book Day Activity
Create Your Own Book
It’s so much fun to let your imagination fly! Use this printable Comic Style Page to create a story as unique as you are!
Picture Book Review