Henry and Bea

By: Jessixa Bagley

Henry and Bea have always been inseparable…until one day Henry suddenly stops talking to Bea. He won't chat with her in class, and he won't sit with her at lunch. Bea can tell something's going on, and she's determined to find out what it is.

Then their teacher announces that the class is taking a field trip to a farm, and Bea hopes that this might be her chance to reconnect with Henry. When Henry finds an old cat collar at the farm and starts to cry, he finally reveals his secret to Bea: his cat Buddy died last week. And even though it's hard for both of them, Bea knows that she'll be there for Henry, as his best friend, no matter what.

Full-color illustrations were created with watercolor and pencil.

ISBN: 9780823442843

JLG Release: Apr 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Best friends , Friendship , Loss (psychology) , School field trips , Farms , Loss of a pet , Grief

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist

School Library Journal

Henry and Bea are the kind of best friends who do everything together and even seem to know what the other is thinking. One day, Henry is sad and withdrawn and ignores Bea completely. Bea misses her friend and while she gives him his space, she doesn’t give up on him. She keeps reaching out until one day, on a class field trip, Henry is ready to Henry and Bea are the kind of best friends who do everything together and even seem to know what the other is thinking. One day, Henry is sad and withdrawn and ignores Bea completely. Bea misses her friend and while she gives him his space, she doesn’t give up on him. She keeps reaching out until one day, on a class field trip, Henry is ready to talk. His pet has died and he has been keeping the sadness inside. Bea offers Henry comfort, companionship, and understanding and their friendship is reaffirmed. The watercolor and pencil illustrations depict a pale boy with carrot-colored hair and a dark-haired, darker skinned girl engaged in multiple best friend activities. They draw together, camp out, play at the park, share snacks, or simply cloud-watch while enjoying each other’s company. The pictures also capture Bea’s confusion and sadness when Henry closes himself off and the happiness they feel when they are together. A gentle story with a lesson about what true friends are made of.

Horn Book

Henry and Bea are the best of friends until, seemingly for no reason, Henry withdraws. “What did I do?” Bea asks. “Just leave me alone,” Henry answers. Bea respects his wishes, but it’s hard. Then the class goes on a field trip to their teach¬er’s family farm (a plot point that allows the children a greater degree of freedom than the u Henry and Bea are the best of friends until, seemingly for no reason, Henry withdraws. “What did I do?” Bea asks. “Just leave me alone,” Henry answers. Bea respects his wishes, but it’s hard. Then the class goes on a field trip to their teach¬er’s family farm (a plot point that allows the children a greater degree of freedom than the usual school outing—with Bea and Henry peeling away from the group to climb up into the barn’s hayloft to talk). Bea finally discovers the reason for Henry’s behavior—his beloved cat has died. She offers comfort (“‘It’s hard to lose a friend,’ she said gently”), devises a healing ritual, and promises—without being asked—not to tell anyone. Bagley (Boats for Papa; Vincent Comes Home, rev. 3/18) controls pacing and tempo through a mix of vignettes and full-bleed spreads. Close-ups home in on moments of intense emotion; landscapes reinforce the quiet, autumnal mood. One particularly effective double-page spread shows the farm-bound class members waiting for their bus, with Bea at one end of the line, looking worriedly toward Henry, who is standing at the other end, arms folded, looking away. A welcome addition to the shelf of books about grief; believable and affirming in its acknowledgment that even the closest friendships go through ups and downs—and of how to “bea” a good friend.

Book Details

ISBN

9780823442843

First Release

April 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10" x 8"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

Level 3; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Holiday House

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Best friends, Friendship, Loss (psychology), School field trips, Farms, Loss of a pet, Grief,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Picture Book

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