Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry series features some of the best children’s novels of the generation. Henry, the star of the series, is a boy whose personality and tendency for naughtiness has led to him being nicknamed “Horrid Henry” by his family, classmates and teachers. As you read Simon’s Horrid Henry books you’ll realise that all the characters have adjectives attached to the beginnings of their names to give the reader an indication of what they’re like.
In Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter, we learn that Horrid Henry has managed to get rid of every baby sitter that comes his way through a variety of childish pranks. In this episode Henry’s mum and dad are eager to go away together, but are reluctant to leave Henry with a babysitter due to his bad behaviour in the past.
As his parents try to settle on a suitable candidate to babysit Henry, Rebecca suddenly springs to mind. Meanwhile, Henry has heard his parents and he does not like the idea, as Rebecca is even more of a horrid person than Horrid Henry himself. What adds to the comedy is that Rebecca’s horrible nature by makes Henry seem like his brother Perfect Peter in comparison, and this is not an image Henry wants to encourage.
Throughout the series of novels, Perfect Peter is the total opposite to horrid Henry; where Henry is horrid, repulsive and selfish, Peter is unselfish, bright and just perfect. Henry and Peter are enemies, but there’s a saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Rebecca doesn’t that in treating the boys cruelly, she’s created an unlikely alliance in Henry and Peter.
Henry finally gets an idea in his head to beat the horrible baby sitter, but will he succeed?