Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D”

Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D”

Margot Finke, author

Ellen Gurak, illustrator

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc., 2010, Fiction

Suitable for:  Ages 5-10

Themes:  Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, Differences

Opening/Synopsis:  “When Horatio Humble read words out loud/There were snorts and giggles from the classroom crowd./The teacher would frown and say, “‘Tut, tut!’  And Horatio’s mouth would close –tight and shut.”  Horatio is a bright student.  He gets A’s in Math and in History.   English and reading are a challenge.  He wants to read books, “But something was wonky within his poor head, so words in his books stayed a mystery instead.”   He and his parents meet with the teacher and Horatio learns he has dyslexia.  Horatio is told that he will attend a special class.  He is upset!  “Special class is for nitwits,” he whined.  “Every one of my friends will think that I’m dumb!”  After working with a teacher things begin to look brighter for Horatio.

Why I like this book:  First of all, Margot Finke beautifully wrote this book in rhyme.  The book is simple, compassionate and packed with hope.   Ellen Gurak’s bold and colorful illustrations are engaging  and show Horatio overcoming adversity.  This book should be in every school library.   It is fun and upbeat.  You can visit Margot Finke by clicking on her website.    She wrote a grade school rhyming book for dyslexic children

Resources:  There is a helpful parent-teacher guide included at the end.   Margot Finke also wrote a grade school rhyming book for dyslexic children.  If dyslexia is caught early it can be overcome according to the Mayo Clinic.  Did you know that Oprah, Bill Gates and Daniel Radcliffe had dyslexia?  To learn more about dyslexia contact the International Dyslexia Association and The Dyslexia Foundation.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

48 thoughts on “Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D”

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful book, Pat. As someone who has worked extensively with dyslexic boys and girls, I know how important it is to have picture books on the topic. Thanks for sharing!


    • I didn’t know you worked with dyslexic kids. Joanna saw this book and recommended it. Have run across some other Margot Finke books I like. Thought this one good for our PPB.


    • Tracy, thank you so much for recommending my blog. That is great that your son’s school is having a Discovering Differences Day in September. I can only hope other schools do the same thing. There are so many children with special needs included in public schools. Teaching elementary kids is perfect.


  2. I’m going to Facebook this. Margot Finke is a friend of mine and I don’t have this book. I am so glad you did this review. It seems like I should finally get it or at least find somewhere to go and read it. I will check our library today. I am about to leave for it and came across your wonderful site.

    Thanks so much! This book is invaluable and I agree “it should be in every school”.


    • Joanna recommended the book to me and introduced me to Margot Finke. I really like her work and hope to review other books. Didn’t realize she was an Aussie. I am going to be reviewing a prominent author’s YA novel about a girl with dyslexia soon. Want more topics like this on my blog.


      • Clar, I went back and looked up the review you did on Tacomi and Claude. I saw it and almost bought it recently — I knew I had seen it before. Then I saw the comment I left you. So, I had read that review. I really like Margot a lot! She is not in our library, so I have purchased her books. I love her video trailers. Catherine said she had a manuscript evaluation from her and said she’s great! Thanks for refreshing my memory. 🙂


  3. I love all these special children’s books. I want to gather them in my arms and give them a big hug. And I love the minds that create them. Thank You Patricia for making us aware of such wonders. Will share.


  4. Nice review. It does sound like a book that should be readily available for families and kids to help them realize they are not alone and there is hope. Thanks for sharing it with others.


    • Thank you for commenting. I’m glad you liked Margot Finke’s book. You’re right it is a book that should be available to families and schools. It’s fun! Most of the books I review are for individuals with special needs. Also focus on a multicultural books, military families and grief.


  5. Patricia, thank you a whole bunch for your wonderful review of Horatio Humble. I am thrilled. My daughter had dyslexia, and when I was a teachers aide, I noticed boys suffered it most. This gave me the impetus to write a book that was fun to read, yet offered hope.

    And thank all the rest of you ladies for your kind and wonderful words.

    In the new school year I am planning on doing Virtual School Visits using Skype. I would love to be a part of your Discovering Differences Day, by reading Horatio Humble to your class and whatever else you wanted from me: maybe answering kid’s questions, talk about writing, and the fun places reading can take you – like a Magic Carpet Ride to adventure.

    Do e-mail me if you are interested. When kids have fun, what they learn sticks with them.


    • Margo, I fell in love with your book. I had been searching for a good book for kids on dyslexia and was delighted to have a friend recommend your book. My blog is devoted to reviewing books for kids with special needs and their families. I also review multicultural books, environmental, social justice issues, homelssness and books for military families. I am anxious to read Tacomi and Claude. Clar Bowman Jahn reviewed it in March.

      You have quite a following among some of the groups of authors/writers I am connected with. I had planned on sending this link to you after all of the comments had come in. But, you beat me.

      Thank you for stopping by. I have sent Tracy a note with your e-mail address.



  6. I have read this book already, mmm thought you already had this… I like Margot Finke’s website to, a great writer and yes I knew she did critiques. Great choice Pat, loved it very much.


  7. Patricia, I received a Google alert about your review and zoomed straight here. Thrilled you want to read Taconi and Claude. The sequel will be out later this year.

    I have another you might like: Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind. Also in rhyme, it tells how sudden big changes can really affect children. Also with parent-teacher guide.


    • Margot, thank you. Will check out Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind. And will let you know what I think of Tacnoi and Claude. Glad to know there is a sequel. You certainly are passionate about writing and working with authors. Listened to your manuscript evaluation video. You sound like a great mentor.


  8. Yay, so glad you reviewed this, I knew it would be up your street. It is a super fun story as well as great resource for parents and teachers. I am a Finke-fan! Margot is a very down-to-earth, supportive, approachable author of many great books. She is worth following and always has new things in the works!


    • Joanna, I really wanted an appealing dyslexia book for kids. It is a fun story that would be great classroom. Yes, Margot is very down-to-earth and you can tell how passionate she is about writing. Was surprised to receive two messages from her. Her note to Tracy about being involved in her child’s school program is very generous.


  9. This sounds like the perfect book that can help our family! I wrote it down! I haven’t found real good books on dyslexia (or the one I have found aren’t that great) 🙂 Got to find this one! Thanks for reviewing this!


  10. Hey, you are all so NICE to me. I am sure my blushes are coloring your horizons.

    Erik, if you want books autographed, I do this for those bought through my website. I also offer book plates. Small local bookstore can order books through the major distributors. These days, many are reluctant to stock other than the big name authors, but they will order for you if you ask for a specific book..


    • Margot, I let Erik know you left him a message. He’s a special 10-yearold boy who reviews books for kids on his blog and keeps up with all of us. He writes poetry and is working on a book. Amazing!


    • Thanks Ms. Finke! I won your book “Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble” on Clarbojahn’s blog and I later downloaded “Taconi and Claude’s 21st Century Adventure”. They are both already on my summer reading list! Now I have to add Horatio! 😉 I will visit your website to check it out.


      • Erik, so cool that you won my Taconi and Claude.from Clar. Please do let me know what you think – you are my target audience, mate so your opinion really matters. Clar’s site, and the books she recommends are awesome. If you want an autographed book plate to go in the inside cover of Taconi and Claude, just e-mail me your address and I will snail-mail you one. mfinke@frontier.com

        You might also like a peek at Kobi and Oscar, characters from my 2 new books being illustrated by Agy Wilson. They have hijacked my blog, and complain about everything, including that Agy made Kobi look too fat. I will boot them off when the books are published. They will both go to live on Kindle, iPad etc. This is where you will find them now: http://0zfriends.blogspot.com/


      • Margot, thank you the site worked. I just downloaded the short story and read it! What fun combining three books. You can tell you love what you do! I have some other books to check out! You have been so gracious. Thank you! I will be in touch. You have been a lot of fun! — Patricia


  11. Joanna, hugs for recommending Horatio for review here. I am just thrilled by Patricia’s words and the wonderfully supportive comments listed here. You are all AWESOME!!

    Seeing you all seem fans of Oscar (or prospective fans), here is a FREE short adventure I wrote that includes Horatio, + Ruthie and Taconi – the main characters from my 3 latest books. Titled “Taconi and Claude’s 21st Century Adventure,” you can download a pdf copy here: http://taconiclaude.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy the read, I had great fun writing it.


  12. Hi, Patricia. Great to hear about a book that focuses on dyslexia. I’m sure there are many parents and teachers–with kids who may be struggling–who would love to have this book!


    • I’m glad you liked my selection. I try to touch on books that will boost children’s self-esteem. Margot’s book is wonderful. Great fun author. She left a number of comments on this post.


  13. What an important topic. I’ve met so many adults, who were undiagnosed. Thankfully, we know more about this and can help those struggling to learn.


    • Stacy, thanks. It is an important book for kids. I know many dyslexic individuals who hid it their entire life — and they are successful at what they do. It’s something that can be helped.


  14. Stacy, Kirsten and Patricia, thanks so much for your kind words. I am just thrilled that Horatio might be able to encourage some child to get help, and finally come to really enjoy the Magic Carpet Ride of reading. Fun and adventure is at a child’s fingertips when they can explore the world through the magic of books.

    And I plan on doing some Virtual School Visits, using Skype, this coming new school year.
    http://virtualschoolvisits.blogspot.com/ — If kids chat with an author and can ask her questions, and also discover what goes into writing, plotting and creating great characters, they will be more likely to read, and even write stories themselves. And I can encourage kids with reading problems to take the plunge: and get the help they need to jump on that Magic Carpet themselves.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques


    • Margot, thank you again for the information on your doing Virtual School Visits, using Skype this coming school year. There are many teachers in our group of writers/authors. I hope Tracy contacts you. You have been very generous with my readers. – Patricia


  15. Pingback: My Storee by Paul Russell – Diane P. Proctor

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