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Henry's Awful Mistake

(Henry the Duck)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A well-loved classic, generation to generation!
Henry the Duck sure gets himself into some sticky situations! Just when he thinks dinner is almost ready, he spots an ant in the house.
Children and parents alike will love following disaster-prone Henry through his adventures in cooking, cleverly written and illustrated by Robert Quackenbush.
Don't forget to snatch up the other
Paperback, 40 pages
Published August 15th 2007 by CQ Products (first published April 1981)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  434 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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A doctor's-office favorite from childhood. I adore it that someone named Quackenbush writes about a duck (and does so because of his name, according to the author blurb on my copy). ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I read this and smiled.
Chance Lee
This is an amazing book. Henry the Duck is fixing dinner for his friend when he sees an ant. Yada yada yada, Henry's house is washed away in a flood and he has to move. An ultimate "that escalated quickly" read that I think will amuse children and entertain adults who have ever had a terrible day like Henry's. A new personal favorite. ...more
Amanda Lynch
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nicholas
This was one of my favorite books as a little girl, so it only makes sense that my oldest son would love it too. We have been reading and rereading it a whole bunch this week. I think this book is the reason why I like situational comedy that is kind of painful (i.e., The Office) so much as an adult: No matter how hard poor Henry tries, he just can't catch a break. Fun and an easy read, with lots of room for discussion with an almost five year old. ...more
This is one of my favorite silly books from when I was little. It's a classic progressive story, as each mistake leads to a bigger one, all beginning with an ant in Henry's kitchen and ending in total destruction of his house. It's silly! ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another childhood favorite! My parent's actually just came to visit and brought it with them for my little brother to read, so it was a walk down memory lane to see it again. Love the story. So funny. ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
Poor Henry. His "awful" "mistake" was an escalating series of entirely understandable decision that go dramatically amiss. He did not deserve what happened. I would've liked the book better with a different, less accusatory, title. ...more
Jennifer MacDonald
Well it's been many years since I have read this book! But today, as I was getting ready to start cooking dinner I noticed a TRAIL of ANTS leading to my dog's food bowl. I was having flashbacks to this book!! Loved it then, love it now- such a classic! ...more
Ruth Soz
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
He came to our school for Authors in April. I remember getting his autograph and being in total awe.
Hayley Hicks
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book that make you laugh!
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry really does make an awful mistake. He quite literally destroys his house to remove an ant.

The over-the-top description of how events unfolded is well worth reading.
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little book, I found this entertaining.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book. My kids loved it and I loved reading it to them. This is one they asked me to read over and over.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a good beginning reader, and my son and I both thought it was pretty funny. I'm going to go get some more Henry books for him. ...more
Wayne Dunshee
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This a book I enjoyed reading over and over to my kids. I saved it for my grand kids and I am enjoying it again. A simple story of focusing on the important things. Funny illustrations.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its a childrens book. I wouldn't ask very much of it, but I have always enjoyed reading it. It takes about 5 minutes to get through it if you study out the pictures. ...more
Brenda-Jean Shephard
Henry's Awful Mistake by Robert M. Quackenbush Robert Quackenbush(1980) While Henry the Duck is preparing dinner in anticipation of his friend Clara's visit, he sees an ant and is distressed at the thought of what Clara might think. In his efforts to rid the kitchen of the ant, he progressively destroys his whole home. In the end, Henry has a second chance to invite Clara over for dinner. This time, when he sees an ant, he wisely chooses to ignore it.
What an adorable story line, with a moral that is relevant to children of all ages! Ther
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, children-s
This book is one of the books on the shelf for my younger sisters, but that doesn't mean that I don't like it! It makes me laugh... I love the illustrations and I love reading it with my sisters even more. ;) Definitely read it! ...more
R. G. Nairam
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Very funny. Ridiculous, but funny and human, even if the main character is a duck.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one definitely held the four-year-old's interest. ...more
Kellee Moye
Read by Mac Barnett on IG 7/11/20
First sentence: Henry the Duck invited his friend Clara over for supper. All day he chopped, stewed, and stirred to make a fine meal. Just as he was about done, he saw an ant in his kitchen.

Premise/plot: What will Henry do when he sees an ant in the kitchen?! Can readers predict what will happen next as Henry faces down his nemesis?! Maybe. Maybe not. But chances off it will keep readers smiling.

My thoughts: I loved, loved, loved this one. I did. I could so relate to Henry and his predicament.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: problem-solving
This is another one of my children's favorite books. Henry's troubles started with an ant, and I mean one ant. He didn't want his friend Clara to think his house was dirty. Henry was so worried about what Clara would think, he destroyed his house trying to get the ant and had to move. Once in the new house he asked Clara over again, and guess who was in the new house, the ant , but Henry looked the other way. Comical and fun for beginner readers.

Learning Experience:
After reading this this story
Keidra Polite
Henry saw an ant crawling up a pipe and hit it with a hammer. He missed the ant, but bust a pipe. The whole house flooded. When he got his new house, he saw another ant and kept on walking. This book teaches children to learn from your mistakes. If you do something wrong it is okay, just do not do it again.
Erin Sandberg
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My ultimate favorite children's book. Henry the goose is cooking dinner for his lady friend Clara, when he sees an ant in his kitchen. He doesn't want Clara to think he's untidy, so he basically tears the entire house apart trying to find this ant. ...more
Jan 13, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to elissa by: K's review
Shelves: picturebooks
Can't find this in any libraries nearby. ...more
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack LOVES this book.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one my great-grandmother gave to me. Great book!
Henry is a duck who is just trying to cook dinner for Clara. But there's this ant in the kitchen that just won't die no matter what Henry tries. ...more
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Author/Artist/Educator Robert Quackenbush has written and illustrated over 200 books for young readers including his popular Miss Mallard Mysteries, which have been made into animated films for children's worldwide television programming by Cinar (now Cookie Jar Entertainment) that are showing in 70 countries. His books have won many awards and citations including an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award

Other books in the series

Henry the Duck (8 books)
  • Henry Babysits
  • Henry Goes West (Mini Edition)
  • Too Many Lollipops (Henry the Duck Books)
  • Henry's Important Date
  • Too Many Ducklings: A Henry The Duck Adventure
  • Henry Gets in Shape
  • Henry's World Tour

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