Thursday, 11 May 2017

Henry's Ears

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Henry's Ears (Post 131)

Henry's Ears (1987), is the story of Henry, who lives with Old Ma Potts and who has a problem with his ears. Henry's ears are bigger than any other dog's ears ever were. They trail behind him, and he can't play fetch, run about or swim for fear of falling over.  He goes for sedate walks to the park with Ma Potts, who carries the ears. One day, Henry goes for a walk without Ma Potts. She gives him instructions. Don't run about. Don't play. Don't swim. Henry agrees. (So, what's with the talking dog? This is the only book of mine where a dog actually speaks to his owner and is understood. It was a long time ago.)

At the park, Henry meets a fuzzy dog he has met before. The dog opines there's no point being a dog if he doesn't act like one, so Henry rebels. He teaches himself to run. The little dog points out that it's going to rain, and Henry will get wet for the first time ever. Soggy and bedraggled, Henry decides to go for broke and swim in the pond. His ears float behind him. When he gets out to shake he nearly falls over. Where are his ears! That's right. They shrank.

This little book is curious in a couple of ways aside from Henry's speech. I'm really surprised, thirty years on, that no one has ever challenged it. 

1. Is it conceivable that Henry NEVER had a bath? (Okay. Maybe Ma Potts left the ears draped over a chair.)
2. One of the early pictures shows Henry with his ears dangling in his water bowl. They are obviously wet. (Okay. Not my fault. I didn't draw the - delightful - pictures.)
3. Henry wins through by being disobedient. Yes he does. He does what Ma Potts has told him not to do, and what he agreed not to do. Hmm. He profits by disobedience. On the other hand, he profits by fulfilling his canine potential. Oddly, Bunyips Don't (Post 23) has the same subversive theme. No one ever called me on that one, either.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

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