Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Henry Holton Takes the Ice

Bradley, Sandra (Author)
Palacios, Sara (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2015. 36 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780803738560 (hardcover)
9780698401556 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Nominee – 2016

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Henry’s entire family is crazy for hockey. His mom drives a Zamboni to work, their dog is named ‘Gretzky’ and Henry had hockey pucks for teething rings. So when he cannot hold a stick or skate straight up and down the ice without adding his own moves, his family are devastated: “Henry was a MENACE to hockey.” It is not until he sees his first ice dancing show that he realizes he is meant to do something on skates that does not involve boarding or bodychecking. With a little help from his grandmother, he gets the skates and the encouragement he needs.

Mixed media illustrations use scratchy coloured pencils, watercolour highlights and occasional newspaper or cloth collage, giving a simple, homey appeal. Facial expression and body language are used to great effect, conveying Henry’s joy and freedom on the ice as well as his family’s initial dismay.

Text is lively and full of quirky detail. Plenty of dialogue brings the voices of Henry and his family to life. Descriptive language is used occasionally to convey Henry’s experience: “The skaters below were like kites – brightly coloured kites, swirling, twirling in the wind.”

A warm and encouraging book for children who march to the beat of their own drum.

  •  

    Discuss your knowledge of hockey and other ice sports such as curling, ringette or figure skating. Use the glossary to augment your ice sport vocabulary.

  •  

    Use a graphic organizer to clarify the ways in which Henry is the same as and different from the other members of his family.

  •  

    Henry’s sister says, “Ice dancing is for girls.” What do you think? Research figure skating for evidence on this issue.

  •  

    Think of a time when you (or a fictional character) wanted to participate in a new activity. How did you (the character) convince others to be supportive?

  •  

    Write a journal entry as one of the characters. Reflect on the events that take place.

  •  On the first pages, there are several people related to Henry. Draw a family tree for him. Add their hobbies or interests. Draw your own family tree. Include your family’s sports or leisure activities.
  •  

    List all the sports you know. Find ways of organizing them using a graphic organizer. Are there sports that are exclusively for boys or for girls?

  •  

    Use a story map to help retell the story. Include family feelings and emotions in your retelling.

  •  

    Create a poster that illustrates the equipment you need for your favourite sport. Include a few basic rules and a relevant glossary.

  •  

    Find arguments to convince your parents that you really want to participate in a sport.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being