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Francesca Simon Q&A - Horrid Henry and children's literacy

(17 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 23-Jun-15 14:26:06

July 2015 sees publication of the final collection of brand new stories about everyone’s favourite naughty little boy, his perfect brother, his long-suffering Mum and Dad, and his funny friends and frenemies too. The publication of HORRID HENRY’S CANNIBAL CURSE sees the end of over 20 years of entertaining children – and their parents, teachers and carers, with total UK sales across the Horrid Henry range currently exceeding 21 million copies (and with rights sold in 31 languages.)

Born in America, Francesca Simon was a journalist before becoming a children’s writer. She receives in excess of 100 fan letters a week from readers and lives in North London.

She is also an outspoken supporter of and a passionate ambassador for children’s literacy and access to literature. She is a trustee of the World Book Day charity, and has been actively involved with many other literacy charities and initiatives including Beanstalk, The Reading Agency, Booktrust’s Children’s Reading Fund and Storybook Dads.

We're delighted that she has agreed to do a Q&A for us - add your questions here and we will send them over to her on Tuesday 7 July.

Ohhhh - and we also have five sets of the very first and very last Horrid Henry books to give away to people who post questions.

Liz46 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:38:18

My 6 year old gs loves Horrid Henry and his 8 year old sister has not grown out of him yet (a bit to my surprise). They know the stories word for word and never tire of them.
So, sorry I do not have a question but you obviously getting it right so 'well done'.

gillybob Wed 24-Jun-15 11:02:43

Hello Francesca. My three grandchildren all love Horrid Henry, although my eldest grandaughter 9, tells me that he's not really horrid he's just misunderstood shock.

My grandson (5) insists on carrying around an old Yo-Yo that he insists has magical powers and can get him out of all kinds of trouble (in to it more like) and always has a plastic spider in his pocket "just incase".

My question to you is probably one you have been asked hundreds of times but at my grandchildrens insistence here goes;

Was/is there a real boy on whom Horrid Henry is based? and were you Moody Margaret?

My 7 year old grandaughter thinks perhaps you had a naughty younger brother.

Thank you.

Elrel Thu 25-Jun-15 19:30:46

My four year old grandson Henry will start school in September. He enjoys books of various kinds and is already reading. How do you suggest we prepare him for being called Horrid Henry when he encounters your clever and amusing stories? I wonder how other boys named Henry have coped!

Liz46 Tue 30-Jun-15 07:16:11

I posted earlier but after a family consultation my GC have the following questions:
1. Who was the inspiration?
2. Have you ever thought of a Horrid Henrietta?
3. Is Peter really perfect?
4. Is Margaret really bossy?

sally717 Tue 30-Jun-15 23:23:39

Sorry again not a question. Just a thank you really. My really not interested in books at all 7 yo loves horrid Henry. & will happily read about his latest adventure.
just brilliant characters & stories thank you ☺

ladle Mon 06-Jul-15 15:48:24

6yo GD sits with a pile of Horrid Henry books and they keep her amused for hours - so a big thank you from me too.

What is it do you think that makes it appeal across the sexes - I had expected it to appeal more to boys?

milliesmum Mon 06-Jul-15 15:52:35

Hello Francesca I wondered what made you decide to bring the Horrid Henry series to a close. I'm sure people would have carried on buying anything he appeared in - did you get bored of him?

Beatrix Tue 07-Jul-15 09:40:44

Is Henry really Horrid or is he just misunderstood grin?

catgran Tue 07-Jul-15 09:43:48

I know that you are American (although you have lived here a long time) How has Horrid Henry gone down over there? I see him as very British - but perhaps I am wrong and he is just as popular elsewhere in the world...

damson Tue 07-Jul-15 10:08:42

Other than reading Horrid Henry of course what’s the best way to encourage a reluctant reader (aged 7)

birdwatcher Tue 07-Jul-15 11:16:45

my grandson also loves the TV adaptation of Henry. He loves the theme tune - did you have a hand in writing that too?

grannybell1 Tue 07-Jul-15 14:04:09

No more Henry! Daren’t tell GC. Obvious question. What next?

lemonandlime Tue 07-Jul-15 16:11:10

I’m sure Henry has been a passport to all sorts of interesting things within your career. Do you have a favourite moment?

kaybh Tue 07-Jul-15 16:59:05

I am impressed with all your work in the field of children’s literacy. How did you get involved in this and who are your own favourite authors?

redherring Tue 07-Jul-15 17:01:09

What would you say to someone who had always wanted to write a children’s book?

Twostep Tue 07-Jul-15 17:05:39

Hi Francesca, we have a couple of avid HH fans here very sad to see the series end! I'd like to know if you think writing for children is easier or harder than writing for adults?