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Flying Henry: Book Review & Activities for First Grade

I wanted to share a somewhat unusual book with you today. I bought Flying Henry by Rachel Hulin a couple of years ago and then forgot I had it. And while it's recommended for babies and pre-schoolers, I actually think it's a great book for older children, too.

Flying Henry: Book review with art, writing and drama extensions. Perfect book for developing imagination. Great for toddlers to first grade! GradeONEderful.com
Click to see book in more detail

Publisher: powerHouse Books, 2013

Synopsis (from Amazon): "Flying Henry follows the story of a baby who develops a magical ability to fly. Aware of a rare gift, he soars through his home, into nature, and unfamiliar places, testing the limits of his new skill by examining the world around him from the sky and embarking on great adventures. But, eventually Henry grows lonely and has to learn a very important secret about flying in order to fully enjoy his gift."

Opening Lines: "Henry was quite surprised when he learned he could fly. Boy, did it beat crawling."

Why I Like It: This book has a really enchanting feel to it. All the pictures are photographs which have been photoshopped to show the flying baby exploring the world. When I first saw the book I was really struck by that: it's very unique. And while the story line is simple, I think any child reading the book will be fascinated with the photos and the flying baby. It's a natural stepping stone for encouraging imaginative thoughts, talk, art and play.

Extensions:

1. Grand Conversation: I let the kids lead the talk during a Grand Conversation, but if it stalls out, then I'll pipe in with some questions. Is this story real or a fantasy? How do you know? How did Henry's feelings change throughout the book? What did Henry discover towards the end? Why were the babies called a flock? What do you think is the author's "big idea"?

2. Art: As soon as I saw this book I knew I'd have the kids paint a picture of somewhere they'd like to explore (real or fantasy) and then glue a photograph of themselves onto the picture so that it looks like they're flying. How cool would that be?  UPDATE: You can see the pics we drew right HERE.

Flying Henry: Book review with art, writing and drama extensions. Perfect book for developing imagination. Great for toddlers to first grade! GradeONEderful.com

3. Writing: This fill-in-the-blank writing (modelled after Rosie's Walk) would be fun to do once the art work was finished.
Click to Grab
4. Dramatic Play: This one's easy. Give the kids a couple of simple capes (or blankets or big towels) and let them pretend play to their hearts' content.

Happy Reading!



2 comments

  1. I haven't seen this book yet, but what child wouldn't be intrigued by it? I think all kids at one time or another have wanted to fly! The writing for where they would fly and why would be really fun!

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely not a well known book. I bought it a couple of years ago but haven't seen it since. It's quirky though and would encourage some interesting discussions and writing.

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