Jantzen, Doug Henry Hyena, Why Won’t You Laugh? Illustrated by Jean Claude Aladdin, 2015. $17.99 PICTURE BOOK Content: G.
Henry is concerned because he can no longer laugh with the other hyenas and that is what hyenas are known to do. He visits the zoo’s giraffe doctor and learns that the reason he is having trouble laughing with his hyena friends is because they aren’t being very nice to others and Henry is too nice to laugh at another person's problems. The giraffe recommends that Henry try being nice to the other animals and see if it makes him feel like laughing and it works.
Henry’s story is adorable and moves along so the reader wants to know what happens next. It is told in rhyme so it’s a fun read aloud and has a great message about not laughing at others. The story alone would be essential, but the illustrations are sub-par and I wouldn’t have known Henry was a hyena just from the pictures. I keep coming back to this review and the story’s message outweighs the mediocre illustrations, so I’m giving it an advisable rating.
EL (K-3)-ADVISABLE. Reviewer, C. Peterson.