Oh how we adore Florence Parry Heide! In case you've forgotten, Princess Hyacinth, the Girl Who Floated, is one of our absolute favorite books (review HERE!). We read it at home a lot, and it's on constant circulation in my school library. Princess Hyacinth is such a fun, clever take on a princess story, and it never fails to elicit laughter and wonder from Pickle, Bo and my students. And now, with How to Be a Hero, Heide has done it again.
In How to be a Hero, Gideon is on a mission: he wants nothing more than to be a hero. A hero, of course, is someone he believes ends up on the front page of the newspaper. So he thinks for a while and determines that in order to achieve his goal, the most important things he can do are to keep his eyes open and be in the right place at the right time. When a trip to the grocery finds Gideon to be the store's 10,000th customer, he thinks he has done it. He is given an award and ends up in the newspaper!! But if the reader follows Gideon's advice and keeps his eyes open, he may find a very different hero within the story.
How to Be a Hero is one of my very favorite types of picture books: it is one of those treasures where the narrative and the visual stories impart something quite different but are each equally important. They don't necessarily contradict each other, but the illustrations add subtext to the narrative and significantly enhance the story by creating two story lines that weave seamlessly together as one-- and totally up the humor factor. If you loved Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (review HERE!), you will love this one too. And if you want to try something fun with your kids the first time you get this book, first read the words alone and cover up the pictures, then try to "read" the illustrations on their own. Only after you have read it this way should you then read both pieces together. Your kids will be in awe of how the story changes! A must purchase for your home or school collection.
Want the book? Get it here! How to be a Hero, by Florence Parry Heide. *This is an affiliate link.