cover image The Story of Horrible Hilda and Henry

The Story of Horrible Hilda and Henry

Emma Chichester Clark. Little Brown and Company, $12.95 (25pp) ISBN 978-0-316-14498-8

Because Hilda and Henry are terribly disobedient, their parents put them in the zoo. At the zoo, the children turn out to be ``wilder than any of the animals,'' so the zookeeper encloses them with Brian the bad-tempered lion. Terrorized by Brian, who devours their food and petrifies them with his roar, Hilda and Henry quickly repent of their obnoxious ways, and their parents take them home--but invite Brian along as well, just to keep Hilda and Henry in line. Clark's illustrations are vibrant and colorful, comprised of bold, contrasting purples, blues and greens. The irony of Hilda and Henry wreaking havoc upon the animals provides much of the story's offbeat humor, such as the snakes being tied into knots and their subsequent plea, ``Please untie us!'' The book's ending strongly implies that more havoc from these two seemingly repentant children is imminent--a twist that should appeal and amuse. Ages 4-8. ( Apr .)