Interview with Francesca Simon

Monday, July 27, 2009.

Here’s something unusual… there’s a series of books, 17 strong, that have been growing in popularity in more than 24 countries since the first book came out in 1994.  And, would you believe, these books are just now becoming available in the United States.  The biggest market in the world is one of the last major markets to get on board.

Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry books, joins Mark for what may be one of the most important interviews we’ve ever done on Just One More Book!! as they talk about books with universal themes, the penalty of growing old enough to read by yourself and Storybook Dads — breaking the cycle of crime through a literacy and family connection program for convicts in a high-security prison.

Mentioned in the interview:

Two of the Horrid Henry books are mentioned in our 500th episode, Chapter Book Chatter.  By the way, we’re 9 episodes away from 600, now (not including our 21 part Rock Stars of Reading series).

We encourage you to learn more about the Storybook Dads program.

Photo: Francesca Simon’s website


Pingback by Francesca Simon Audio interview « very hungry caterpillar’s Weblog

July 28, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

[…] Just One More Book has a  really interesting interview with Francesca Simon. Despite being a global phenomenon  since the mid nineties Horrid Henry is only now being published in the US. The interview touches on what might have delayed the US release, and there is also much discussion of the pleasure of reading aloud. Well worth the 25 minutes for this one. […]

Comment by Terry Doherty

July 31, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Great interview, Mark. I see why Andrea says it was probably one of your most important. The thoughts on Horrid Henry are very interesting … it was actually that series that prompted me to write my A Question of Character post. If pushed, I’d recommend Horrid Henry, but only to specific types of audiences. Guess I’m in the minority!

Comment by Just One More Book!!

August 9, 2009 @ 7:23 am

Thanks for listening and for taking the time to comment. And thanks for pointing out your A Question of Character post. It’s an important discussion and important distinction that children respond differently to books. (it’s also great to know that Horrid Henry spawned your post!)

For us, Horrid Henry is a relief and release. We all see that we aren’t as bad as Horrid Henry, yet we can look a little more openly at our thoughts as parents and as “horrid” and “perfect” people. It’s great to sit back and laugh at situations that are so like our own (exaggerated as they are) and to realize that as much as we may badger our kids, none of us wants to be or live with a “Perfect Peter”.

I do realize tho, that children require certain skills to differentiate humour from example. The Simpson’s TV series is to our family what Horrid Henry is to, perhaps, yours. The humour requires so much explanation that, tho our all our kid’s schoolmates have been watching these shows for years, we have only recently exposed our kids to certain episodes and only with explanations, discussions before, during and after.

Thanks, Terry, for your thought-provoking comment and for all you do for readers everywhere.

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August 24, 2009 @ 1:01 am

[…] Interview with Francesca Simon Photo courtesy of Donalyn Miller. […]

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