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Henry Huggins

Last updated Monday, February 5, 2018

Author: Beverly Cleary
Illustrator: Louis Darling
Date of Publication: 1950
ISBN: 978-0062652355
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2018

Synopsis: Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Clearys first novel, boys and girls alike will instantly be charmed by an average boy whose life is turned upside-down when he meets a loveable puppy with a nose for mischief.

Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable. But when Ribsys original owner appears, trying to reclaim his dog, Henrys faced with the possibility of losing his new best friend.

Has Klickitat Street seen the last of rambunctious Ribsy?

Note to readers:
•  There's a brief mention of a kidnap of a baby. It's only one line (page 15).
•  The 1st chapter plays a significant role in introducing the main character and the "friend."
•  The picture on page 9 (same as the cover of the book) can be used to accurately describe how big the dog is.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have a pet? If so, describe what kind of animals and what do you like about having them. If not, what would your dream pet be like?
•  How would you define a friend? What is a friend to you?
•  What is the most exciting thing that you've ever done?


•  Tonsils - Light tissue masses located near the throat. There are two.
•  Y.M.C.A - A gym or a physical activity establishment.
•  Exasperated - Irritate intensely. Getting on someone's nerves.
•  Hollow - Empty or empty space.
•  Staggered - To walk or move unsteady, pouncing back and fourth.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think dogs are not allowed on the bus?
•  Why do you think Henry wanted to keep the dog? Would you have done the same? Why?
•  Riley's nickname is Ribbs. Does anyone have a nickname? If so, why do you think thats your nickname?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw the front of a store with big windows (similar to the cover of the book). Draw items for sale (such as toys & books) inside the windows.
•  Make a dog puppet using a paper bag.
•  Make a Valentine Card for your best friend, teacher, or someone you love.
•  Draw a picture of your pet or dream pet.
•  Create animals masks.
•  Check our February craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Play the animal mimicking game. Everyone has their own animal and a movement to accompany it. The starting player has to state their animal while doing their own movement. Right after, the player must state another player's animal and their movement. The player with their animal called will proceed to repeat the process of the starting player until another player messes up. This game emphasizes focus and rythem.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!