Thursday, November 10, 2011

Simon’s Book by Henrik Drescher

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©1983 by Henrik Drescher

The opening page shows a young boy drawing a story.  Feeling weary, he goes to bed without completing it. Now this would be of no great import, were it not for the fact that the boy leaves his drawing with one of the characters, Simon, being menaced by a monster. Once the boy goes to sleep, the drawing comes to life. Thankfully, two pens and a jar of ink on the table have also come to life and aid Simon in his attempt to escape the monster.
The beast lunges and the pursuit of all four begins. The clever pens draw a hole which they believe is sufficiently large for them to escape, yet not large enough for the beast to follow; they are mistaken, for the beast leaps right through, hot on their trail.  
The four climb up a hill. When they reach the top, the pens form a wheel with Simon holding on in the middle, to hasten their descent.  They land at the foot of the hill with a thud as the wheel spins out of control.
To their horror, they look up to see the beast lunging at them. Surely they are about to meet their doom. 

In a comical turn of events, instead of devouring him, the beast gives Simon a big smooch.  The four are extremely relieved that this monster is amiable. The pens then draw a nice, comfy bed and tuck in an exhausted Simon with his new-found friend. They then return to their original spots on the desk, and they too fall asleep.
When the budding artist awakens the next morning, he is astonished by what he sees. In place of the sole drawing of Simon stranded on a page with a monster, there sits a complete book, “and that’s the same book that you’ve just finished reading.”

What a clever story! Any book that involves a character coming to life is almost guaranteed to be read and reread in this house. The reason being, we have always enjoyed talking about having our favorite characters visit for a a playdate. My boys have been fascinated by Simon’s Book for about two years now. It is wonderfully imaginative, suspenseful and maybe initially for a very young child, even slightly scary. However, once the scary monster turns out to be friendly, I think it will relieve any tension a kid might experience.

As an aside, I am quite the sentimental sort, so Drescher’s dedication to his children, made me misty-eyed.  “For Sofia and  Emile and Joakim. I made this book for you before I knew you’d fill my life – Dad” I wonder what wonderful things my kids will say about me, their sweet momma, in their own dedications one day;-)


  1. Hi Donna,
    Let me first say that I love your blog and think that it's a wonderful idea. You make the stories sound so interesting that I'm certain I'll be checking some of these books out of the library even though I'm an adult. :-)

    Now, back to your post: I'm certain that one of the things that your children will always be grateful for is that your love of books started them on the path of reading. A path which allowed them to expand their imagination and explore the world without ever having to leave their room. I know how grateful I still am that Mother captivated us by telling us about author Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Little House in the Big Woods. I remember being transported to another place when she talked about the Ingalls family cozy little house in the woods with it's fireplace, and well-stocked larder. Curling up with a good book -- there's nothing like it.

  2. Hi Vivi,

    Thank you for the kind words. Yep, I remember our mother's love for reading and she sure passed it on to all of us children. Especially the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. I have read the picture book versions of the series and the boys have really enjoyed them. It is fascinating for them to hear how people used to live. Go ahead check out some picture books, I won't tell;-)

    1. I remembered when I saw Simon's Book on Reading Rainbow and I was just so drawn into that story! I loved the scenes where the monster tried to chase Simon and his friends across the page and how at the end, the monster ends up being friendly! Have you read any other books from Henrik Drescher before?

    2. Hi Rabbitears,

      I was not fortunate enough to see Simon's Book on Reading Rainbow. I discovered it on the library shelf and was intrigued by the cover. No, I have not read any other Drescher books. Have you? What did you think? Thanks for stopping by!

    3. I personally loved reading Henrik Drescher's works. They are really creative and strange! My favorites are Simon's Book, The Fool and the Flying Ship, No Plain Pets!, Pat the Beastie, Love the Beastie and many more!

      I’ve just posted up my reviews on Simon’s Book and Gruesome Guide to World Monsters on my blog. Feel free to check them out! Also, check out my review on The Fool and the Flying Ship and see what you think!

      Gruesome Guide to World Monsters -

      Simon’s Book –

      The Fool and the Flying Ship -