I am Heniretta P. Hoppenbeek the First, future Queen of the Wide Wide Long Cool Coast of the Lost Socks, and the only person in the even Wider World to have visited the Island of the Rietta.
Don’t forget that, because when I do become Queen, you may just want to ask me for a sunny part of the kingdom to lie about in with your dog. You never know.
This captivating little offering is filled with whimsy and imagination. Henrietta shares her views on life in a delightful monologue that is very much stream of conciousness – jumping from topic to topic as it meanders through Henrietta’s world.
The format of the book is a perfect complement to its content – published as a small hardback with a lovely pink spine and marker ribbon. Murray’s childish illustrations, in pinks and browns, and the use of various font sizes and styles, all add to the story.
In spite of its whimsy, the story does touch on some serious parts of a child’s life – loss of a pet, sibling rivalry, firendship and more – giving Hernietta’s special insight into each.
Fans of Clarice Bean will find Henrietta just as appealing.
Henrietta, by Martine Murray
Allen & Unwin, 2004