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A Friend for Henry

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  83 reviews
In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? A story from the ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Chronicle Books (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  372 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A little boy on the autism spectrum thinks about his classmates, looking for a friend. The plot is simple yet very subtle as Henry's feelings and behaviors make it hard to find a match in a friend.

A very sweet story that does a nice job of reflecting some autism spectrum behaviors and challenges and what it takes to be a good friend to anyone.

Mika Song's are simple but wonderfully extend the text. A wonderful book to use with pre-school to kindergarten-age children.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Original review can be found on my blog: Mad Book Love

A Friend for Henry is a book about a little boy who, though never stated, I suspect has autism (as do two of my kiddos). One of the facets of his autism is being very particular about certain things and rather anxious about change and trying new things. Henry very much wants to find a friend in his classroom, but he is struggling to find someone who will fit well into his world. In the end, with some perseverance and the littlest bit of
Sarah N
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a sweet book! The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and I’m really hoping there will be another adventure with Henry soon.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
In his classroom, Henry is looking to make a new friend. It can’t be the class pet, because Gilly the fish can’t play on the swings. It can’t be his teacher. As Henry considers different children in his class, he realizes that some of them are too colorful even when you try to do something nice for them. Others don’t listen very well, like a friend would. Other kids break the rules or play with worms. Henry found himself watching Gilly in her fishbowl. Katie is watching Gilly too. Henry thinks ...more
Daniel Schwabauer
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story, pacing, and humor of this book are delightful. And the artwork is perfectly paired with the narrative. A terrific book that left me wanting more.
Feb 27, 2019 added it
Shelves: favorites
I really liked that, unlike a lot of other "finding a friend" books, Henry did not have to change who he is, but rather had to find the friend that fit him. I was expecting some kind of a "learn to be friends with everyone" message, so it was refreshing to find a book where that wasn't the case.
Sandy Brehl
I greatly admire the ways in which both author and illustrator have revealed younger Henry's personality and needs. What appears to be a third person narration, including some dialogue, which gradually invites readers to view the story unfolding as an inner voice, a peek inside Henry's head.
At no point is Henry labeled. No reference is made to being on a spectrum, to rigidity, to being high-functioning, or any of the other designations that are becoming catch phrases among the general public.
Although the book jacket indicates that Henry is on the autism spectrum, there is no mention of that in the text, which I regard as a strength. After all, labels can often result in putting others in boxes and forming certain assumptions about them or expectations for them. In this case, Henry is on the outlook for a friend. He knows it can't be the class goldfish or his teacher, and in true Goldilocks fashion, he considers various possibilities. But some of his classmates are just too loud or ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even a child on the Autism spectrum needs a friend. What is important in a friend? I like how Henry evaluates various other children in his class for their friendship qualities before finding the perfect friend: who listens, is quiet, shares, and likes things just so, too. It reminded me of "This Beach is Loud!"
Maureen Agnes
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved the style of the illustrator - Mika Song. Definitely want to look up more books illustrated by them. I just love stories where people are looking for someone who gets them. It can be a struggle for some, and easy for others, but so worth it when it happens.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Loved this journey of finding a friend who's just right for you.
Ryan Robidoux
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
omg it was adorable
Cara Byrne
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Henry is on the autism spectrum and struggles to find a friend until he meets Katie. Written by an author whose son is on the spectrum, this book provides an empathetic view of difference.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I get what the book is going for, and while I support finding friends that fit our needs, I feel like something was still missing here. While Henry did have to sit next to the teacher after yelling at the one boy for messing up his carpet square pattern, I guess I still wanted Henry to be more accepting of the students that drove him crazy. And maybe "accepting" is the wrong word, and it's also just a picture book so there's only so much you can teach in 32 pages... but I still felt a little ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"It's from Rug World. There's the sticker."
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: autism or friendship requests
Recommended to June by: and Polly
Rounded up. The cover blurb says Henry is on the autism spectrum, but it is not mentioned in the story so adults can decide if they want to bring it up or not.

Henry has trouble making a friend, but he persists and eventually is rewarded.
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

In A Friend for Henry, by author Jenn Bailey and illustrator Mika Song (Picnic with Oliver), readers are taken along a friend search with young protagonist Henry. As Henry thinks about who could possibly make for a good friend from Classroom Six, he considers the following:

It couldn't be Gilly, who circled her fishbowl. She's quiet, thought Henry. But she can't play on the swings.
It couldn't be Mrs. Magoon, who knew about hugs. She shares, thought Henry. But she has to.
Could it be someone
Darcie Caswell
Henry really wants a friend at school but no one is just the right fit. Gilly the classroom fish is quiet, but can't play. Mrs. Magoon the teacher is kind, but that's because teachers must be kind. Everything about Vivianne is kind of boisterous, including her colorful clothes and painted fingernails. Samuel is loud and rambunctious. During Free Time, Katie joins Henry watching Gilly, then they play blocks. Katie talks and listens to Henry in a way he likes, and they become friends.

The theme of
Lacie Ortiz
A Friend for Henry is about a young boy who has autism and struggles to find a friend in his classroom. This book was very inspiring to me because I've actually never read a book about autism. I also liked the fact that it never mentioned or listed the word "autism" throughout the book. This book had me feeling mixed emotions. I felt sad because it hurts my heart to know that some students are mean to other students with autism. At the same time, some students do not know how to react with ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I was a child, the only books about autism that I had access to or could show my classmates tended to be very niche, low-budget, self-published affairs. They often focused on extremes: either people with autism who were very high functioning or people with autism who were very low-functioning. These books were also frustrating because the autistic person in them was never given an interior life—as if they only existed in the confusion and conflict of their families or people in the ...more
As the mother of an Autistic son who struggles to make friends, I was looking forward to reading this book with him. I loved the idea of a book exploring why it can be hard for an autistic child to make friends from the perspective of that child. However, the execution of this book idea really failed for me and my kids. First, I found the writing was not explicit enough for little kids. The reader had to do a lot of reading between the lines and inference to understand why Henry was having ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henry is looking for a friend in classroom 6. He has some specific requirements of a friend - must be able to play on the swings - so the class goldfish can't be his friend, friends like what he likes, they say thank you, they listen. Katie listens, she likes to watch Gilly the fish and she plays on the swings! Today, Henry has a friend!

Henry is on the autism spectrum - not stated in the text but noted on the book jacket - I liked that he was patient and waited to find a friend, that he didn't
Sammi Nutter
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey is a story about a boy looking for a friend within classroom six. While searching for a friend, he realized other students did things he did not like to do. Henry finally found a friend and realized that even if you don’t like all of the same things, you can still be friends. The illustrations were created using watercolor and ink drawing readers into the story from the beginning pages. The images match the tone of the story as the color scheme is easy-going and ...more
Rayeann Hatfield
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like that the book is about a student with autism. You dont see many children books like this. You can read it to your students so, they can get an idea on how students with autism feel. Hopfully, taking away ways in which you can help these students so, they can feel comfortable in the classroom. This book is about a little boy named Henry, who is trying to find a friend that fits his needs. He just wants someone who shares and can listen. You see Henry has autism, so finding a friend that ...more
Kendall Conley
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book I rated 5-stars. I rated it this way because it is a really cute book about making friends. I like this story because sometimes it can be difficult for kids to make friends. I would for sure use this book in my future classroom at story time because it sends a good message and helps the kids realize that making friends is hard but it is possible. I liked that it showed how when you do what makes you happy it will help you find people who have similar interests and will help you find a ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks @kidlitexchange and @chroniclekidsbooks for sharing a review copy of Jenn Bailey’s A FRIEND FOR HENRY, illustrated by @mikasongdraws .

This beautifully-illustrated and heartwarming book tells the story of Henry, a little boy likely on the spectrum, who longs for a friend but struggles with finding the right fit in a chaotic new school environment.

Henry’s triumph of finding Katie (and building a tower without using triangles or broccoli) is a sweet victory.

As a mother of biracial children
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
“A Friend for Henry” by Jenn Bailey and illustrated by @mikasongdraws, is a touching story of a boy’s first day of school. Inspired by her own son, author Jenn Bailey captures the challenges of a boy on the Autism spectrum search for a friend. Henry is looking for a friend who gives him space, says thank you and listens. He finds a wonderful friend and together they build with blocks and play on the swings together. Books don’t come sweeter and more gentle than this treasure. For children ages ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kindergarten-2nd grade
Henry is ready to make a friend at school but is turned off by many behaviors that appear erratic or unreasonable. His classmates include bubbly Vivianne with painted fingernails but becomes upset when Henry paints rainbows on her shoes, and boisterous, active Samuel who ruins Henry's thoughtfully organized carpet squares. When Henry and Katie share a quiet moment and a straight-forward conversation, Henry is happy to appreciate Katie's differences while also enjoying each other's company.

Ann Haefele
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A young autistic boy attempts to find a friend in his classroom which is full of noises and actions that bother him. While I liked the message of the book, i thought that something was missing from the story and illustrations. If you had not read the blurb, you really had to read between the lines about Henry being autistic. Some of the illustrations did not go hand in hand with the text. The beginning pages that talked about Gilly the classroom fish had me searching for a bit to find the ...more
Dean Gloster
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, thoughtful, uplifting debut picture book, A FRIEND FOR HENRY is wonderful, and the roomy, warm art by Mika Song is also great, like the quiet friendship Henry finally finds.
Henry is hoping to find a friends in his new classroom 6. But Vivianne was a kaleidoscope, a tangle of colors with ribbons and clackety shoes. And Samuel was a thunderstorm, booming and crashing, kind of scary if you didn't have your blanket. But Henry finds a friend in calm Katie. "It's perfect," said Henry. A sweet
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