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Henry and Mudge - The First Book (Henry and Mudge #1)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  5,149 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
The first book in the acclaimed Ready-to-Read series from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant featuring Henry and his lovable 180-pound dog, Mudge.

Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children, finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Simon Spotlight (first published January 1st 1987)
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Steve Holden
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's time for another blast from the past! I must spend a Saturday reflecting on a favorite early transitional chapter book from my childhood. I read so many of these as a child, and I have most of them for my own classroom. The characters and stories are appealing to young kids, and it's a nice step up from the typical picture book. The chapters and longer length help reading confidence tremendously, and the illustrations and larger text keep kids grounded enough to what they're used to with bo ...more
Courtney Weber
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this book. I remember reading Henry and Mudge books as a kid, but I did not remember any specific details. This is what made it so fun to read this chapter book. It was like being a kid and reading it all over again.

Read Aloud: This is a cute short chapter book and so it would be easy to read in a day with children during reading time. There is not much educational value in this book, but it would be fun to do a creative writing piece along with it. Henry got
Taryn Vogel
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Personal Reaction: I absolutely LOVE Henry and Mudge books. I grew up reading these. They are actually some of the books that helped me become a reader. That said, I would definitely use these in my classroom because I think they are a great tool that teachers can use to help their students learn to read. They are always very fun plot lines that the students will want to read.

Purpose: A big component of these books are character development. Being such a big series of books, students
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I've ever read a Henry and Mudge Book before. This one is so sweet! I will definitely keep these in mind for when my son starts to read.
Courtney Raymer
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Response: I was actually pretty familiar with these books when I was younger they were very popular but I never really read them. But I decided to use the book for goodreads and really enjoyed the book. Even though it was a pretty basic chapter book it still gave beginning readers confidence and the story lines were cute as well. I also chose this book because it is in a series and if a child really enjoys reading these and can handle them they can continue to read many books just like ...more
Alyssa Ruehl
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal reaction –
I liked this book. I have heard of them before when I was young, however, I have never read it. Reading them now made me appreciate all of the series I read when I was little, and going on the same adventure they go on.

read aloud to make a curricular connection
I would read this aloud to kindergarteners for the purpose of literary elements, such as plot and structure. There is a definite storyline, which students would be able to identify. The humor within this book would hel
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There is a lot of emotion packed into Henry and Mudge: The First Book. The feelings of isolation and lonesomeness that Henry expresses are powerful and extremely well written, though simple and straightforward. After rejecting his initial requests his parents decide that his request for a pet can be granted. He carefully selects the perfect dog for him; little did he know that Mudge would be more dog than he could ever wish for. They become fast friends and Henry is a different child with Mudge ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: easy-to-read
Henry and Mudge is a story about a boy named Henry that is a bit lonely and doesn’t have any friends. Henry asks his parents for a dog and to his surprise is given a very small puppy he names Mudge. We follow the two and watch as Mudge not only becomes a huge, happy, and loving Dog but Henry’s Best friend. This easy to read book is the first of many tales that Cynthia Rylant writes. Sucie Stevenson provides simple illustrations that mirrors Rylant’s beginning reader text. Stevenson’s illustratio ...more
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've heard so many good things about this book and that it is hugely popular. Perhaps I had too many expectations, then. I'm not sure I was completely dazzled, but it is a very sweet story told in simple words (good for beginning read-on-my-own readers) about the friendship between a boy and his dog.
Mattathias Westwood
I remember blazing through the Henry and Mudge books in 2nd grade. It is the first long series I remember being crazy about. My teacher had all of them in her classroom and they were what I always looked for when we had quiet reading time. Henry and Mudge's adventures were very real for me. I'm still grateful for these books and the world they helped open for me.
Caren Levin
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: Henry and Mudge – The First Book

Author: Cynthia Rylant

Illustrator: Sucie Stevenson

Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Transitional Chapter Book

Theme(s): Dog, Fiction, Play

Opening line/sentence: “Henry had no brothers and no sisters. “I want a brother,” he told his parents. “Sorry,” they said. Henry had no friends on his street.

Brief Book Summary: Henry had no friends or siblings, so after begging his parents, he finally was able to pick out a dog. He chose Mudge, an 180 lb. dog and they became best
Madeline Coyne
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: easy-to-read
This book was a very simple and charming chapter book. It allows young readers get a taste of reading a longer book. It is a tale of a young boy named Henry and his first dog Mudge. It allows the reader to see the relationship between them both. However, one day judge walks off without Henry and becomes lost. Henry distraught over the loss of his dog is worried where he is and begins looking for Mudge. In this book students are able to relate to the story if they have owned their own pets. Stude ...more
Luisa Knight
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, i-can-read
This is a fun one and I'm kind of curious to read more in the series; which I think says something for a beginners book. Enjoy!

Reading Level: K - 2nd grades

Cleanliness: a boy sometimes worries about scary things likes ghosts (shows a picture also).
Nicole G.
First book in a series about a boy and his dog. Henry is an only child, and there are no kids his age on his street to play with. Good parents let him have a dog, and My becomes his best friend. One day, however, Mudge is lost. Will Henry be able to find him?

This is a level 2 book, so those children reading with assistance or recently independent should be able to enjoy the story.

Pets do make lots of things better, don't they?
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Henry and Mudge The First Book is a great story about a boy and his dog, however it does not represent multicultural literature. In this book the relationship between Henry and his dog Mudge is depicted and shows a love and fondness for each other. The setting is somewhere in suburban America and the language used is Standard English.
Henry is a sweet boy that is lonely so he asks his parents to have another child and move to another street which they say no to but when he asks for a dog to keep
Abby Huhe
Sep 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: easy-to-read
This is a great book to get kids into reading. It is about a boy and his puppy. His dog goes missing , it comes back and they are the best of friends and will never stray again.
Shelby Olszewski
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Henry had no brothers, sisters, or other children on his street. He asked his parents for a dog, after they told him no to having another sibling or moving streets, they thought about it and said yes. Henry was so excited he searched for a dog. He did not want just any dog it could not be short, have curly hair, or have pointed ears. Then Henry found Mudge, he had floppy ears, straight fur, but was short. But that was only because he was a puppy. Mudge grew very quickly, he grew out of his puppy ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My son and I both thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series and were excited to find out what would happen as we started each one. Because my son was between 5-6 years old (he's an advanced reader) at the time, he easily identified with Henry and loved Mudge because (1) he desperately wanted a dog, and (2) Mudge's goofiness was endearing AND hilarious.

Read Aloud: Pre-K and Kindergarten
Introduces plot, character development, foreshadowing, and use of imagery.

Independent Reading: First or Seco
Kathleen Pine
Henry felt very lonely as he had no siblings and lived on a street with no children. Then his parents agreed to letting him get a dog, whom he named Mudge. The story talks about their tight friendship as Mudge grows bigger and made Henry feel safe and happy as they did everything together. Then one day Mudge took a walk and got lost, making both Henry and Mudge very upset. Eventually the two find each other and vow to never lose one and other again.

This story shows the love for pets, the bond of
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Response- I liked reading the book because it is a sweet story of friendship between a boy and his dog. I recognized the illustrations on the cover of the book but I did not read these books as a kid and wished I had.

Purpose in the Classroom- First grade children can use this book as one of their first transitional books because it is an easy read with only a few sentences per page. Kids who have a pet, especially a dog, will really get a kick of this book and the humorous events that
Ryan Gray
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Henry and Mudge is a great story about friendship and compassion. In the story the young boy, Henry wants nothing more than a dog of his own. At first his parents tell him that he may not have a dog, however after reconsidering the matter they decide that they will allow Henry to have a dog. Henry looks for a dog until he finds a perfect match. Henry and Mudge fall in love with each other and are as close as a dog and a young boy can be. The two are simply inseparable. One day while Henry is out ...more
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: easy-readers
Henry And Mudge: The First Book by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Suçie Stevenson, is the first book in this series of over 2 dozen books about a dog & the boy who loved him. We see Mudge back in his puppy days before he becomes the 180 pound dog of all the later books. The first book has 7 very short chapters, before just 3 stories became the norm for this series. This is a sweet story, focusing on Henry's lonliness, his bonding with Mudge, and the time when Mudge got lost.

The text has a l
Caroline Nichols
This book is really sweet. I liked it a lot. It's the story of a little boy named Henry, who has neither siblings nor other kids his age that live near his home. So, one day Henry asks his parents for a dog, to which they say yes, realizing that Henry needs a companion. They pick out a dog named Mudge, and Henry and Mudge become the best of friends, doing everything together. Henry and Mudge love each other deeply. One day, Mudge gets so excited about playing outside and exploring that he can't ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: beginning readers
Recommended to Tobinsfavorite by: librarian
Our librarian suggested this as good for our beginning reader to read out loud. We read one chapter a day. That worked great for, say, Frog and Toad, which runs 50-60 pages with five chapters per book. This is 37 (or so) pages with seven chapters in it. It's kind of boring, chapter by chapter, since so very little happens in each one. then I found out that there are 27+ books in this series! Dread! Groan! (OK, the boy doesn't have to know that, but still... he liked it.)
The art is alright. It's
Chelsey Stotler
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
1. This is a great story about compassion and friendship between a young boy and his dog. Henry’s parents allow him to buy a dog and he finds Mudge to be a perfect match. Mudge gets lost and Henry spends the day searching for him. They are finally reunited. This book was heart warming just like many of Cynthia Rylent’s books. This story could relate to anyone who has ever lost their pet. It is a very sad and helpless feeling. It may give a reader who has lost their pet hope in finding them again ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, 2nd, 1st
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: younger-children
Jill really enjoys these books. They are too long for Danny, but Jill feels like a big girl, because Mommy is reading her a book with chapters. (I'll pause so you can ooh and aah appropriately now.)

I like the message in this book, and I was touched by how sad Jill thought Henry's life was. She couldn't imagine living with no siblings. She was shocked to discover there are kids like Henry with no brothers and sisters.

Oh, and this book allowed us to have a discussion about how Jill should never wa
Nicole Holsted
Henry and Mudge is a great transitional book series for younger children. Sometimes it is hard to transition from picture books to chapter books. I selected this series because these chapter books are one of the first transitional books I started to read. I continued to read a lot and after these years I always think back to Henry and Mudge. It is important to remember that readers need to be encouraged when first being introduced to a chapter book, this book also provides pictures in the book a ...more
Jill Marks
Henry and Mudge were some of the first books that I remember reading. I loved Henry and Mudge! The story is simple and the sentences are short. In the first book, Henry and his family adopt Mudge. Mudge and Henry quickly become best friends. Mudge will walk to the bus stop with Henry everyday and wait for him to come home from school. One day - Mudge runs away and Henry thinks he will never return. But of course he does! Henry and Mudge are perfect for young readers. I wouldn't use it as a class ...more
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she ...more
More about Cynthia Rylant...

Other Books in the Series

Henry and Mudge (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble (Henry and Mudge, #2)
  • Henry and Mudge in the Green Time (Henry and Mudge, #3)
  • Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon (Henry and Mudge, #4)
  • Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days (Henry and Mudge, #5)
  • Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea (Henry and Mudge, #6)
  • Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers (Henry and Mudge, #7)
  • Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat (Henry and Mudge, #8)
  • Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps (Henry and Mudge, #9)
  • Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test (Henry and Mudge, #10)
  • Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend (Henry and Mudge, #11)

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