Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary

Jul 19, 2012

This is a book report about Dear Mr. Henshaw, a book full of Leigh Bott's letters to Mr. Henshaw and pages of Leigh's diary.

Leigh's second-grade teacher read Mr. Boyd Henshaw's Ways to Amuse a Dog to her class. Since then. Leigh's favorite author has been Mr. Henshaw. Leigh loves writing letters to Mr. Henshaw. Once, for an interview project, Leigh sent Mr. Henshaw a list of questions to answer. When he gets the response, though, he is pretty mad, because Mr. Henshaw sent him a list of questions in return. Throughout the years, Mr. Henshaw helped Leigh realize his gift for writing. One day, Leigh submits a story about a ride with his divorced dad in his big hauling truck. In the school's yearbook, Leigh gets a "Honorable Mention" for it. At first, he is mad that he didn't get to place and meet a Famous Author, which was the prize. But then, surprise! The winning poem was actually copied from a book! Leigh gets the 4th place and is also complimented by the Famous Author, who has met Mr. Henshaw personally.

I like how this book is arranged into a Letters section and a Diary section. Sometimes, it changes right from real letters to Mr. Henshaw to pages of Leigh's diary, which is named "Mr. Pretend Henshaw." I like how the author, Beverly Cleary, cleverly manages to include enough information so that this book could easily become a story, not just letters and pages of Leigh's diary. It sounds like a first-person story in the Diary section, but it also tells how Leigh feels: angry, happy, mad, or sad.

I don't like how his parents got divorced. Couldn't they just be living separately, like his father living on the road in his hauling truck while his mother was at home with Leigh?

I suggest that the Famous Author, who was the prize for winning the story competition, should have been Mr. Henshaw. That way, at first, Leigh would be really sad that he didn't win. But then, he'd be very surprised and happy at getting the chance to meet his hero and penpal.

Feed me a comment please!

-- Dana