Van Camp, K. (2009). Harry and Horsie. New York: Balzer & Bray.
Appetizer: One night, Harry and his stuffed animal Horsie are having trouble sleeping. So, Harry decides to get out his Super Duper Bubble Blooper to make bubbles. When one of the bubbles carries Horsie away through the window, it's up to Harry to rescue him. His quest will take him around across the solar system.
I liked the comic style of Lincoln Agnew's illustrations. They very intentionally bring to mind the comics of the 1950s. And the story itself matches the classic feel of the illustrations.
The picturebook is very relatable for young readers with a personified stuffed animal and an imaginative adventure that takes Harry to other worlds.
"It was way past bedtime, but Harry wasn't tired. Neither was Horsie."
"Wherever Harry went, Horsie went too, so they crept across the room. Harry knew exactly how to get his Bubble Blooper down. And of course, Horse helped him."
"Bloop bloop bloop
Soon bubbles of all shapes and sizes filled Harry's room."
"And then, all of a sudden, a giant bubble BLOOPED and swept up...Horsie!"
"There was no time to lose! Harry put on his helmet and grabbed his goggles."
To Go with the Meal:
Great for entertaining young readers, this book positions a young imaginative child as a superhero who can rescues others. But while doing that, Harry and Horsie doesn't include any violence (in fact the bubble gun-while fun-actually causes Harry's problem by carrying Horsie away).
This picturebook could also start a tentative discussion on other planets or could be paired with an information picturebook on space or space travel.
In response to the story students could also describe their favorite imaginary friend or stuffed animal and could describe an adventure they would like to go on together.
Tasty Rating: !!!!