Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THINK QUICK with Author Henry Hertz

by Kirsti Call

Hi Henry! Congrats on the release of Little Red Cuttlefish.  I love how this story encourages bravery and ingenuity in children.  All of the THINK QUICK themes below appear in your book. Let’s see which way you lean. Remember, THINK QUICK!

On Cuttlefish:
Preferred pets or ocean friend?

I have no idea how practical it would be, but I'd LOVE to have a cuttlefish pet!

On Tiger Sharks:
Malicious or Misunderstood?

Misunderstood. As was said in Finding Nemo, "Fish gotta' swim. Birds' gotta' eat." You can't blame predators for wanting to eat. It is in their nature.

On Bullies:
Stand up to them or Run Away?

While in some cases, it makes sense to run away, the only long-term solution to a bully is to stand up to them.

On Seafood:
Love it or Leave it?

Love some, leave some. Smoked salmon on bagel? You betcha'! But I cannot fathom what must have gone through the mind of the first person walking on the beach to spot an oyster and say, "Hey, I think I'll crack open this bumpy rock and slurp down the gooey, slimy contents."

On Strangers:
Talk to them or ignore them? (Or do you prefer to ink them?)

Ignore strangers, unless they offer to give you a ride in their car, in which case INK them!

On Journeys:
Adventure or Chore?

Yes to both. I'm a planner, not a pantser. Family vacations always start with the chore of planning to make sure we know where to go and have a place to stay. But once we're at our destination, the adventure begins. Better adventures through planning!

On Creativity:
Art or Music?

C'mon, that's like asking to choose between eating and breathing.

On Saving the Day:
Brain or Brawn?

Brains. Every. Time. As MacGuyver taught us, brains plus duct tape enable you to solve any problem.

On  Fairy Tales:
Cinderella or Little Red Riding Hood?

If we're talking about the original fairy tales, then Cinderella. She is a good person who eventually is treated kindly. The original Little Red Riding Hood is a gullible girl who ends up in a wolf's belly.

On Books:
The Little Red Cuttlefish or The Little Red Cuttlefish? Of Course!

It's a tie! 

Of Course!  

Review by Kirsti Call

I love fractured fairy tales and this story of Little Red Cuttlefish is no exception. Little Red Cuttlefish encounters obstacles on her way to deliver crab cakes to her grandmother. Kids will relate to the main character and her adventures in protecting her grandmother.

The illustrations enhance the story with an expressive and colorful palette. Peppered with lively language and a few fun puns, this is a great read-aloud. I especially like Grandmother's line: "All this swimming has made me so hungry, she said. "I bet we could wolf down these crab cakes."

I recommend this for kids who enjoy fairy tale retellings and ocean stories. 

Henry Herz writes fantasy and science fiction for children. He is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency. He and his sons wrote MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES (Pelican, 2015), WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY (Pelican, 2016), MABEL AND THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016), LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016), and DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017).


  1. I'm going to have to check out this Little Red Cuttlefish! Wondering if kids will clue in to the fact that crab cakes are made from crab? Or are they tofu-crab? :) Is LRC a predator, too? Perhaps a food web discussion would ensue?

  2. Great article, Kirsti - I love the quick questions/answers & your review of the book - which I've read & enjoyed immensely.

  3. Love the new book! Can't wait to see it in person. Thanks for the fun interview! Congratulations!

  4. Thanks for being our guest, Henry! I look forward to reading LRC!

  5. Thanks for the share.

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