Henry Hodges Needs a Friend: Book Review

Review of the children's book Henry Hodges Needs a Friend, along with a list of resources for adopting a pet!

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Sunny Day Family is going to the dogs this month! May 4-10 is Be Kind to Animals Week, and all month I'll be featuring several activities and books that celebrate dogs.  Our family includes two wonderful adopted dogs (and a cat!) who bring our lives so much joy. And, as a parent, I am committed to instilling respect and kindness for animals in my children. We're kicking things off with a review of Henry Hodges Needs a Friend.

I was so excited to receive my copy of Henry Hodges Needs a Friend from BookLook Bloggers in time for our Going to the Dogs month. It fits perfectly with our theme and my kids really enjoyed it.

Henry Hodges Needs a Friend, written by Andy Andrews and illustrated by Colleen Madden, is the story of a lonely boy named Henry. Henry doesn't have any friends but he does have loving parents who know what he needs. They tell him that they will find him a "one of a kind friend," and Henry's vivid imagination conjures up all sorts of crazy ideas for what that could be! But a trip to the animal shelter shows Henry that his true friend is a sweet pup who is lonely too. They become the best of friends in this heartwarming story.

My boys and I really enjoyed Henry Hodges Needs a Friend. Andy Andrews' text is fun to read aloud with its easy rhythm and rhymes. Colleen Madden's colorful and playful illustrations definitely captured my almost 3 year olds' attention.  

Henry's imaginary potential friends are a funny and entertaining part of the story that keep it lighthearted, as the subject of a boy with no friends could have easily become too heavy for little ones. 

My favorite part of the book was the depiction of the animal shelter as a warm, inviting place for Henry to choose his new friend. All too often I see shelters depicted as sad, scary places which can deter families from choosing to adopt.

All in all, we really enjoyed Henry Hodges Needs a Friend (I had to read it 3 times in a row when it arrived at the insistence of my son!) It is a wonderful book to kick start conversations about friendship, or to begin the pet adoption process in your family!

Thinking of Adopting a Pet?

Our three pets were all adopted from our local animal shelter, and I could not imagine bringing a pet into my home any other way. If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, please choose to adopt from a reputable shelter, humane society, or rescue organization. There are millions of dogs, cats, and other pets just waiting for a loving home like yours. 

Don't know where to start? Here you go!

Image courtesy of The Shelter Pet Project

The Shelter Pet Project is an amazing public service ad campaign advocating for animals available for adoption from shelters. You can search pet listings, find your local shelter, and learn more about pet adoption here. lists hundreds of thousands of pets looking for homes from shelters and rescue groups. 

Petango also lists real time updates of available shelter animals.

The ASPCA maintains a nationwide database of available shelter animals.

Often, your local Petsmart or Petco stores will host adoption events as well.

Best of luck in your search for a new best friend! 

I received the book reviewed in this post for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review and received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.

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