Most of the stories revolve around Henry’s day to day life as he navigates life with trickery and pranks, puts up with Perfect Peter and his constant tattling, and tries whatever he can to get his way. Children love living vicariously through Henry, as he does all the naughty things that most readers would never dare do, and with each book they can read a little more about a comforting set of characters that children get to know and love.
First published in 1994, Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books have offered a fantastic series for newly independent readers to get their teeth into. Short enough so as not to overwhelm early readers, the books still provide a satisfying story for children to enjoy. And illustrated by the incredibly talented Tony Ross, these books are filled with fun drawings of Henry that get little ones’ imaginations ticking and help bring Henry’s mischief to life. Children can’t wait to read about what Henry is up to next.
Book series have always been popular with children, and while parents might struggle with the monotony, kids love the comfort of reading about characters they’ve grown to love and the reassurance that they kind of know what the plot is going to be. After all there are enough challenges to be dealing with when you’re 6 or 7 without having to tackle a book at bedtime that you don’t really get. When kids are ready to move on they’ll let you know, so stick with it and let that comfort build a love of reading that will make it all worthwhile.
In the meantime, there are countless great series out there for boys and girls, with a track record to prove it. If you’re moving on from Horrid Henry then there are plenty of brilliant series to try next which will appeal to kids who love naughty characters. Here are our recommendations for books to read after Horrid Henry.
Francesa Simon has announced her final Horrid Henry book – Horrid Henry’s Cannibal Curse – this year, and we’re sure every Horrid Henry fan will want to finish their favourite naughty character’s story. A collection of four stories, the book is Henry at his best as he provides a horrid guide to perfect parents, takes on Margaret in a baking competition, conjures up an ancient curse to deal with his annoying little brother and much more! All illustrated by the incredibly talented Tony Ross with his usual hilarious interpretations of Henry and friends, this book is a must-read for any Horrid Henry fan.
The Frankie’s Magic Football series is aimed at the same reading age as Horrid Henry, making it perfects for children who have just finished that last book about their favourite naughty character. Frank Lampard’s series of books aimed at both boys and girls centres around a magic football that can take his characters to anywhere in the world or any time in history, ready for whatever adventures they find. As a new author he’s worked hard to write stories that children will love reading, remembering his own childhood when his mum encouraged him to read and visit the library where she worked. The series only launched 2 years ago but has become an established favourite with younger readers already.
“Fun and easy to read.” – The Sun
If your little one loves making their way through a long series then you can’t do much better than Beast Quest. Aimed at slightly older readers than Horrid Henry these are classic adventure stories that are well written and perfectly pitched for the age group. Short clear sentences keep the reader engaged, and action and an exciting plot keeps the story moving at the right pace. Ideal for sharing with a 6 year old but also just right for 7-8 year olds to read alone. Children love the collectability of the series and the appeal of all the different beasts in every book makes them ideal for reluctant readers.
“If you have a reluctant reader then give these a try although be prepared to invest in an extra bookshelf!” – Southern Daily Echo
Funny books for kids that grown ups will appreciate too. Join Captain Teggs and his crew on board the DSS Sauropod as they fight evil across the galaxy. Action packed and full of humour this is a great series of books for 6 or 7 year olds looking for something they can read by themselves, but the humour and stories will delight older children too. Lots of illustrations help the action come to life.
“Who can resist the mix of dinosaurs and space?” – The Sunday Times
A great series for dinosaur fans; brilliant stories and accurate facts combined to make a great read. The series is broken down into groups of 6 books, each group based on a different preshistoric periods; cretaceous, jurassic, triassic and so on. Each book has a set of trading cards inside with more dino facts. The stories themselves are about 2 friends who have adventures in their secret world of dinosaurs, battling triceratops and T rex!
“What every dinosaur-mad child has been waiting for – a young fiction series that really knows its Tyrannosaurus from its Triceratops.” – The Guardian
And here are some other tried and tested favourites that are ideal for moving on from Horrid Henry. If you love these there are other books from these authors that you can read as well, and whilst not strictly series, lots of them feature the same characters in several books and your kids will love that. All of them are well written, illustrated and have a legions of fans already.
If it’s the funny side of Horrid Henry that you love then Mr Gum will have you in stitches. One of the funniest books written for children in recent years this is a worthy winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The humour is off the wall and anarchic and reminiscent of Roald Dahl himself as you get to know Mr Gum, the meanest, most unpleasant man you’ll ever read about. With an angry fairy, a stinky butcher, a dog named Jake and a little girl called Polly to join him in his adventures you won’t be bored for a minute. And with several more Mr Gum books to read, with even more amazing characters including a walking talking biscuit named Alan, you can’t go wrong with this one
“Smooky palooki! This book is well brilliant! Andy Stanton is far too clever and funny and should be locked away in a very dark place that nobody can find.” – Jeremy Strong
This is the best introduction to Roald Dahl, and a book that children can read themselves. Not too long, but full of his trademark humour this is the story of a particularly nasty crocodile who spends his time plotting new ways to eat children, but inevitably meets a sticky end. Told with wit and illustrated by Quentin Blake, you can start here and open the world of Roald Dahl.
“The author’s most dazzling entertainment to date.”- Publishers Weekly
The Paddington film last year introduced the bear from Darkest Peru to a new generation of children, and this is the original story from Michael Bond. This is ideal for reading together and children of 6 or 7 will love the story of Paddington and his mishaps. A classic story but still totally lovable and appealing to children today.
“Michael Bond’s accident-prone bear…has become one of the most enduring of children’s characters.” – The Bookseller
Jonny Duddle has captured childrens imagination with his incredible picture books, and here he takes a step up the age group ladder with young fiction. With the writing and the illustrations entwined this is the ideal way to move onto reading chapter books, helping to build confidence as children move on from picture books. The writing is simple enough for children to read themselves with a bit of help, but imaginative enough to hold an adults attention and make this a joy to share. A second book, The Jolley Rogers and the Cave of Doom is also available
“The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon is funny, clever and an absolute treat to look at. I read it fairly slowly, savouring each illustration and making sure I brushed up on my pirate-speak (there’s a handy guide at the end that all budding pirates should read)” – Wondrous Reads
David Walliams incredible fiction for children has become a fixture on many bookshelves and deservedly so. The stories are great for reading to younger children of 5 or 6, but also work for older children who will be happy to read alone. Often compared to Roald Dahl these stories work because they appeal to all ages, and adults love them too
“A pleasure to read. A beguilingly funny, original and thought-provoking tale… hilarious” – Amanda Craig, The Times
Since Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid hit the bestseller charts back in 2008 the books have been read by younger and younger children. What started off appealing to 10 year olds is now regularly read by 6 and 7 year olds, looking at what older brothers and sisters are reading and wanting to try it too. And it works brilliantly for those younger children too as the simple text can be tackled by early readers, and the illustrations make it incredibly accessible.
“Kinney is right up there with JK Rowling as one of the bestselling children’s authors on the planet.” – The Independent
It says “Laugh Your Socks Off” on the cover of this book and we bet you will! Before Wimpy Kid and David Walliams, Jeremy Strong was giving children a laugh with his bestselling Dog books. With illustrations by Nick Sharratt which children will recognise from picture books and Jacqueline Wilson, this book is aimed at 7 year olds and upwards. If you love this then there’s a whole host of other books to choose from about Streaker the dog, and then there’s the equally hilarious ‘My Brother’s Famous Bottom‘ from the same author.
“Strong’s books are hugely popular with young children with their breezy, daft exuberance.” – Sunday Times
For more children’s books for primary school children, take a look at our website.
If you’ve found a children’s book that you think is perfect for fans of Horrid Henry then share your recommendation with us in the comments box below.