The Books

Old Henry

by Joan Blos
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell

One Potato Review

Weird. In a good way! For older readers especially, here is a thoughtful, sometimes unsettling portrait of the freaky old guy who moves in down the street, doesn’t mow his lawn, refuses neighbors’ pies, and generally keeps to his ramshackle self. Those neighbors aren’t exactly hospitable either; their pies aren’t baked without a measure of calculation, and oh, do they gossip. Old Henry himself proves not altogether lovable, and what makes this story interesting finally is its jagged ambiguity. Because sometimes people just don’t want to get along – at least until they’ve put a little distance between them. With regrets and second guessing, and exclamatory artwork by the reliably idiosyncratic Stephen Gammel: everyone looks a little crazy.